25 March 2008

Zimbabwe Changing

From the reports on the Internet it is beginning to look as if Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC has all the momentum in the last week of the “harmonised” (local, parliamentary and presidential) elections in Zimbabwe.

In this quick update you will find, in the first link below, a report of how on Sunday, the last of the campaign, Morgan Tsvangirai drew 30,000 to a field outside Harare (the MDC is being blocked from using stadiums). The atmosphere was described as being like a carnival, and this joy could also be witnessed in the TV images seen in South Africa.

Meanwhile incumbent Robert Mugabe could not even draw 2,000 people in Bulawayo, where he made a sour, begrudging, loser’s speech, full of bad temper and ugly but impotent-sounding threats. Wild threats of the kind he is making are not appropriate to an election campaign. They are more likely to reduce his credibility than anything else.

Worse than that, from his point of view, is that he is beginning to look ridiculous, like Eugene Terreblanche did in the last days of the old regime in South Africa. People are laughing at Mugabe as never before, and there are reports of people shunning him even at Church on Easter Sunday. Other reports say that Mugabe’s Zanu-PF is cancelling rallies, presumably for fear of even more embarrassment. Suddenly the fear is all on that side, while MDC supporters are feeling confident and free. See the second and third short items linked below for more detail about these matters.

The fourth item is a repeat from the previous Communist University. It is from the Observer (London). It is remarkable for the fact that it includes reference to an opinion poll as follows: “One of the few polls of voters Zimbabwean academics attempted to carry out showed Tsvangirai leading, with Mugabe second and Makoni third.”

The fifth item linked below is a report from Reuters to say that business people are lining up to rush back into Zimbabwe as soon as Robert Mugabe falls, to acquire assets cheaply and to take advantage of the reconstruction of what should be a booming economy. They know where their bread is buttered. A loaf of bread, by the way, presently costs 10 million (Zim) dollars in Zimbabwe.

It could also be that a lot of Zimbabweans now living in South Africa are, like the MDC, suddenly becoming “cautiously optimistic” and making plans for a different future, suddenly closer than they had previously allowed themselves to think.

Click on these links:

Tsvangirai draws record crowd in Harare, Lance Guma, SW Radio Africa (387 words)

Mugabe will not concede defeat, Lebo Nkatazo, Newzimbabwe.com (639 words)

Mugabe Says MDC Will Never Rule Zimbabwe, Tererai Karimakwenda, SWRA (451 words)

How Mugabe's faithful became the opposition, Tracy McVeigh, Observer (2149 words)

Some foreign investors gamble on Zimbabwe, Nelson Banya, Reuters (964 words)

Events Diary


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