Mugabe finally secures victory

The MDC president Morgan Tsvangirai has pulled out of the Zimbabwe election stating that it cannot be free and fair.

He said:
“We in the MDC cannot ask them to cast their vote on 27 June, when that vote could cost them their lives.”
“We have resolved that we will no longer participate in this violent, illegitimate sham of an election process.”
“We will not play the game of Mugabe”

This move probably makes sense; it had become abundantly clear that there was no prospect of the run off election being free and fair. In such circumstances there was no prospect of anything other than a ZANU PF victory. This move by Tsvangirai will ensure that Mugabe cannot use this election to legitimise his continued rule and will also hopefully reduce further violence.

Tsvangari has called on the UN, African Union and Southern Africa Development Community to intervene. The most important issue will be what the South Africans now do. The immediate response from Thabo Mbeki’s spokesperson was “We are very encouraged that Mr Tsvangirai, himself, says he is not closing the door completely on negotiations.” History really seems to be repeating itself: clearly it is most unlikely that the South Africans nor anyone else is going to invade or use air strikes to topple Mugabe; just as Harold Wilson refused to use force in 1965 against UDI. The question is whether South Africa will stand by Mugabe or ratchet up the pressure on him as eventually a previous South Africa did all those years ago on Ian Smith’s Rhodesia. Sadly my prediction of the election outcome made in January seems to be about to come true.

  • Democracy was not only done but seen to be done. On a related point, does anyone object to the British press calling Myanmar Burma? Are aboriginals allowed use their own names for their countries or should they use the ones Mother England gave them?

  • joeCanuck

    Did you really mean “done”, Dave, or did you mean to say “done in”?

  • ZoonPol

    “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.” [Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi]

  • KieranJ

    How long do you think it will take before Tsvangirai exiles himself to London?

    The folks in Harare deserve all the abuse they are getting from the thug in charge.

  • Dave, the Myanmar name is what the tyrants and their friends call Burma. The military generals imposed it after they took the country from the people of Burma and brutally oppressed them.

  • BfB

    “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won. There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.” [Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi]

    The countless millions of men, women, and children, tortured, raped and killed, while this mantra is sung are deeply moved, I’m sure.

  • billie-Joe Remarkable

    “The folks in Harare deserve all the abuse they are getting from the thug in charge.” Are you Glen Hoddle, perchance?

  • Robbie

    ‘There have been tyrants and murderers and for a time they seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall — think of it, always.” [Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi]
    The countless millions of men, women, and children, tortured, raped and killed, while this mantra is sung are deeply moved, I’m sure.’

    Countless millions of men, women, and children, tortured, raped and killed? Wasn’t that the US in Vietnam/Iraq/just about wherever their army’s stationed? Well done for scrutinising yourselves.

  • ulsterfan

    It is easier to make cheap political points than to feel sorry for the people of Zimbabwe or to be constructive about the future.
    Perhaps it is time for the UN to take an active role in that country.

  • runciter

    Dave, the Myanmar name is what the tyrants and their friends call Burma.

    Much better to use the name chosen by the non-tyranical British colonial authorities.

  • runciter, yeah well I’m inclined to call the country the name by which it is known to the people who live there / are from there. Particularly those who have resisted the military tyrants and paid the price through torture, imprisonment and seeing family members murdered by the army.

  • fair_deal

    Mbeki’s likely replacement, Zuma, seems to be much more willing to get tough with Mugabe.

    Ulsterfan

    “UN to take an active role in that country.”

    Just ask the people of Darfur on the value of that.

  • runciter

    runciter, yeah well I’m inclined to call the country the name by which it is known to the people who live there / are from there.

    Which includes the Myanmar government but does not include the British government.

  • Turgon

    fair_deal,
    I do hope you are correct and certainly Zuma has been making noises to that effect recently.

    Zuma has advocated land reform (eg here). Zuma was once seen to be on the more re-distributive wing of the ANC and his supporters may expect such which is not necessarily a bad idea at all. My only anxiety is that Zuma might be saying one thing for Western media consumption but be forced by circumstances and political realities to do something different. Equally there have been considerable protests about the number of Zimbabweans in South Africa and indeed riots so the South African population might be well pleased if a harder line on Mugabe resulted in a change in government and economic circumstances resulting in many of the Zimbabweans going home. It would also no doubt please the displaced Zimbabweans if their country became less of a disaster and there was adequate employment and food allowing them to go home.

  • al

    If “colonialism” was bad, what is this?

  • WindsorRocker

    Pity that some on here take a thread on the tragic events in Zimbabwe and start mentioning “b specials” etc… highly immature….

    Watching Mbeki’s ambiguity on the news made me sick. The South African’s are in a position to put Mugabe under extreme pressure and tell him that the writing is on the wall……. yet they sit and plead for “negotiation”…..

    I can partly understand why our government and the US don’t want to be seen to be leading the charge on this but the conditions in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe are pretty much like the Iraq that was invaded in 2003……

  • Dave

    A bullet in the head of Robert Mugabe would solve the problem of how to rid Zimbabwe of this dictator.

    Where are crazed assassins and suicide bombers when their country needs them, eh?

  • Garibaldy

    I’ve been very sceptical of the line on Zimbabwe coming out of the western media for some time, and have borne in mind the fact that Mugabe did not go down the road of racial hatred after the creation of a popular government, but instead pursued a conciliatory line. The land redistribution, while badly handled, was also something I would have supported. However, it does seem like it is time for Mugabe to go, although there would remain the question of the Zanu-PF organisation. I think there are extremely legitimate concerns among many Zimbabweans that there is a danger of a return to a position of effective colonial dominance, especially in regard to the economy.

  • Wilde Rover

    Mugabe should have just held a referendum and asked the people Yes or No to Mugabe.

    If they voted No Mugabe could say he respected the No vote of the people before arranging another referendum.

  • Dave

    Garibaldy, I think that the land should have been nationalised and run by the state agencies as merged farmlands that benefit from economies of scale. White settlers (amounting to 1% of the population) acquired 70% of the land by colonisation, not by fair means. So, I have no problem with that theft of the assets of a country and of a people by the British being put right. The British government’s solution to the problem it created was to sell the land back to its rightful owners at full market value, but only if the white settlers wanted to sell it! Of course, neither the citizens nor the government had the money to buy it – even if they felt that they should buy back what was stolen from them. While Mugabe did the right thing, he did it the wrong way and for the wrong reasons. The citizens of that country were screwed by the colonisers and screwed by their own de-colonised government, and now they are being screwed by their own countrymen. This is the familiar legacy of British imperialism, alas.

  • joeCanuck

    Watching Mbeki’s ambiguity on the news made me sick

    Me too. I have some doubts about Yuma but he couldn’t possibly be worse than Mbeki. He has made some encouraging statements.

  • Comrade Stalin

    This is the familiar legacy of British imperialism, alas.

    Looking at the USA, India, Canada and Australia, I rather think that the legacy of British imperialism is a short period of instability followed by a much longer, and sustainable, period as a stable democracy and increasingly prosperous economic power. Marxist principles were applied carefully and accurately in Zimbabwe, and that is why it has ended up where it has.

    I do agree, though, that the better way would have been to nationalize the land rather than redistribute it.

  • Greenflag

    dave ,

    ‘Garibaldy, I think that the land should have been nationalised and run by the state agencies as merged farmlands that benefit from economies of scale. ‘

    Based on the enormously successful USSR model no doubt ? If it could’nt work in Russia why would it work in Zimbabwe . Millions of Russians died in famines brought about by the failure of state bureaucrats to produce food . With one sixth of the world’s land area and a large chunk of it’s best wheatlands the Soviets even had to import food from the USA in the 70.s and 80’s to stave off famine .

    ‘This is the familiar legacy of British imperialism, alas.’

    Partly but not British alone . It’s also plain nutty ideological stupidity on the part of some of the newly ‘free ‘ governments of the people .

    Compare Botswana to Zimbabwe . The former has a GDP per person of 5,600 dollars per person- the latter perhaps 100 if that . In 1980 the figures would have been reversed with Zimbabwe GDP per person being 2 to 3 times that of Botswana .

    The reason for the uge difference is very simple .
    Botswana is a ‘real ‘ democracy whereas Zimbabwe has been ruled by a tyrant for the past two decades.

  • Mike

    For those who have written nonsense about “the people” with regards to the naming of Burma/Myanmar…

    http://www.thestar.com/article/264116

    ‘[Burmese democracy campaigner] Aung San Suu Kyi has said no one should be allowed to change Burma’s name without referring to the will of the people. “Of course, I prefer the word Burma.” ‘

    ‘Canada argues that the name Myanmar was imposed by the junta and never approved by the democratically elected government. “In support of the struggle for democracy, the government of Canada uses Burma rather than Myanmar,” says Bernard Nguyen, a spokesperson for Foreign Affairs. ‘

    By the way, the Irish government also uses ‘Burma’ rather than ‘Myanmar’.

  • Greenflag

    Comrade stalin,

    ‘ the better way would have been to nationalize the land rather than redistribute ‘

    Nonsense . It matters a damn who owns the land but it matters immensely who is working it to produce food for in Zimbabwe’s case 13 million people . In 1910 the population of Zimbabwe was 700,000 and subsistence ‘farming’ was possible . Today it’s still possible but it will not feed 13 million people nor even half that number .

    So if the land is /was ‘nationalised ‘ who would work it and under who’s management and direction /control ?

    Farmers in Africa respond to the same kind of incentives and disincentives as those in europe and elsewhere in the world and what we have learned historically over the past 100 years is that ‘nationalising ‘ land has always led to famine or near famine conditions or food shortages and eventual reliance on being saved from famine by parts of the world where land is not ‘nationalised’.

    Never mistake a symptom for the cause . Zimbabwe is ‘starving ‘ not because the land is not ‘nationalised ‘ it is starving because of stupid economic and agricultural policies imposed on the country over the past two decades by a tyrant . And until he’s gone the people of Zimbabwe will continue to suffer .

  • runciter

    Mike,

    I’m not sure what the opinions of the Canadian and Irish governments have to do with anything. It’s traditional that the government of a country gets to decide what it is called.

    For example, it is up to the Irish government if it wants to call 26 counties of this island “Ireland”.

    I’m pretty sure they didn’t ask the Canadian government for approval first.

    Furthermore, the idea that British foreign policy is motivated by human rights concerns is laughable.

  • ulsterfan

    Zimbabwe has a mortality rate which is the worst in the world with men living on average 39 years and women 34 years .
    25% of adult population carries the Aids virus.
    Mugabe has a lot to answer. When he finally goes I hope the people of that country search for the Billions of US dollars which have gone missing.
    No one person may be responsible for this but nevertheless large amounts were taken out of the country.
    The Swiss Banking System seems to be more co operative than heretofore.
    These poor people deserve a lot better.

  • Dave

    “Marxist principles were applied carefully and accurately in Zimbabwe, and that is why it has ended up where it has.” – Comrade Stain

    The problem of land ownership and the need for reform had nothing to do with Marxism. It is a problem that was created by colonisation, wherein a colonising class numbering 1% of the population came to own over 70% of the land. Mugabe didn’t seize the land for the benefit of his people via Marxism: he seized it for the benefit of his supporters (and his own benefit). In regard to British Imperialism being a wonderful and progressive experience for India, I’ll go with Noam Chomsky’s take on that:

    “…in the 18th century, India was one of the commercial and industrial centers of the world. England was a kind of a backwater – it had much greater force, but not commercial or industrial advantages. It was able to forcefully impose on India what was now called the neo-liberal program of free-market, tariffs, etc. etc. Meanwhile England itself, which was a powerful state, raised high protectionist barriers to protect itself from superior Indian goods…textiles, ships, and others. There was massive state intervention in the economy, the United States later did the same thing – stole Indian technology. Over the next 200 years, that tyranny led to an impoverished, agricultural country, while England became a rich, industrial society. The mortality rate in India after 200 years of British rule was about the same as when they took over. There were railroads, but they were run from the outside – they were there for extraction of resources. Meanwhile, tens, if not hundreds of millions of people died in famines – the famines were horrendous. So that’s the history of the British in India. After India won its independence, it began a path of development, picked up again where it was two centuries ago. It’s true that while under the imperial system, some of the better features of Western society leaked through, but India had a rich literature and culture long before England came in. Basically it was a murderous, destructive, several centuries of history, which India then got out of. Then it began to develop where there were no more famines, and the infant mortality rate began to improve enormously. There are still a lot of problems, many traceable back to the English days. That’s the history of English imperialism.”

    “Garibaldy, I think that the land should have been nationalised and run by the state agencies as merged farmlands that benefit from economies of scale.” – Dave

    “Based on the enormously successful USSR model no doubt ?” – Greenflag

    Is that the limit of your imagination? Because a policy fails in one area it must fail forever more? Nationalisation made the trains run on time: privatisation didn’t. 😉

    Besides, having said that it is right that the land is returned to the ownership of the people, it is then a case of how that is best achieved. Dividing the land up into small holdings and giving it to your lackeys and cohorts was never designed to make efficient farmers or skilled farmers out of war veterans. The colonisers were careful to steal the best land (as they always are), so that could have been the basis for a highly profitable industry for Zimbabwe (and, no doubt, will be in due course when a future government removes the land from Mugabe’s lackeys).

  • sean

    Mr Mugabe was once the darling of Western Imperialism, he even was even taken by carriage to Buckingham Palace were a Banquet in his hounor was held. He also got a honorary knighthood, and has countless honorary doctorates from all over the world. Then in 2000 he started to fast track LAND REFORM ,after Blair refused to hounor the Lancaster House Agreement,in which the British were to compensate the mainly white British settlers, who had seized the land from the Indigenous people and made then virtual slaves to farm what was once their own land. As the huge farms were returned to their rightful owner ,the honeymoon was over . The British media portrayed the White settlers as victims and the Indigenous Zimbabweans who were at long last getting their stolen farms back as criminals. The British and Americans saw Land Reform as a step to far and set in motion conditions for regime change. This involved Sanctions ,and a all out assault by the Western media on Mr Mugabe and his ruling ZANU . party. They then scouted around for a willing Stooge to take on Mr Mugabe , and soon they enlisted one Morgan Tsvangirai , who with their help soon became leader of the MDC-T, a party financed by the right wing, Zimbabwean White Commercial Farmers Union, and S.African based mining Houses, among others. Morgan Tsvangirai has a chequered history , once a lowly paid Union official was once secretly filmed for six hours planning to murder MR Mugabe, so he could seize power. The plan failed as the two Canadians gave the video to the police. Tsvangirai stood trail and was acquitted on a technacality. It is widely believed that the Zimbabwean government did not want him convicted as the penalty if convicted is the noose,and they knew that Britain and the Americans would scream unfair trail, and make a hero out of him. Tsvangirai once called for the Australian Government to deport children of Government officials and supporters who were in school in Australia, but hid the fact that his two youngest children were also in Australia attending one of its most prestigious schools. For long time Tsvangirai has denied that he is a stooge of the West , and that he will stall Land Reform,and return the farms back to the whites,as they partly found his party. Several hundred former white farmer have returned to Zimbabwe recently hoping the Western powers can engineer their man into power.

  • joeCanuck

    Several hundred former white farmer have returned to Zimbabwe recently hoping the Western powers can engineer their man into power.

    Can you enlighten us as to your sources, Sean?

  • joeCanuck

    No? Just a troll I guess.

  • Greenflag

    Dave ,

    Is that the limit of your imagination? Because a policy fails in one area it must fail forever more?

    Okay- how about If I included North Korea and it’s 2 to 3 million dead – or China in the late 1960’s with 30 million dead or the hare brained marxist leninist scientific socilaism of Haile Mariam – the Ethiopian madman who drove millions of people to death by starvation in the 1980’s

    Do you know the planet you are living on FFs ! –

    ‘ Nationalisation made the trains run on time: ‘

    Of course in Fascist Italy and Nazi Germany societies no doubt that appeal to your sense of ‘superiority ‘ 🙁 . Being fired from a job because of being late is of course an incentive to perform . Being shot for running late is perhaps the ultimate time keeping incentive .

    As you appear to have thrown in your lot with the Le Pens of this world as well as the UKIP nut jobs and other assorted european fascists we don’t need to imagine how you would get Dublin Bus to run on time .

    Mussolini ended his days by having his throat slit while being hung up by the heels from a tree . Some say it was irate train drivers who did the business . While I don’t think Dublin bus drivers would go that far I would’nt put it past them to to let you float down the Liffey attached to several concrete blocks 🙂

  • Greenflag

    Sean ,

    So Mugabe is still your hero ? Jaysus wept . Well I suppose even Hitler had his fanatical supporters even after the bastard had destroyed his country . So I suppose we should’nt expect any different for Mugabe .

    As for ‘white farmers ‘ returning I hope some of them do for without them millions of Zimbabweans will be condemned to years of hunger and misery .

    What has Mugabe achieved

    a) A basket case economy
    b) Inflation of 1 million percent
    c) Food shortages and famine
    d) 3 to 4 million people having to flee to neighbouring countries .
    e) The 10 million dollar Zimbabwe bank note ?

    What a pity Zimbabwe does’nt have oil then perhaps the USA /UK might do the decent thing and get rid of Zimbabwe’s Hitler .

  • BfB

    What a pity Zimbabwe does’nt have oil then perhaps the USA /UK might do the decent thing and get rid of Zimbabwe’s Hitler .

    Greenie, things a bit slow eh?….The old ‘USA overthrowing governments to steal their oil lie?’
    Please…absolutely a barking mad, fantasy, useful idiot rant that you should shift from, or cite some verifiable proof…(fat chance)
    Get on the global warming thing, right up your black helicopter, anti-USA, never proved conspiracy braying…

    Prat.
    Oh, and thanks for keeping the prattling under 10,000 words. There’s a good boy.

  • abucs

    For what it’s worth, a white Zimbabwean farmer once told me that lots of white farmers had paid large amounts of money to other white farmers to buy their land before having it taken off them.

    If a black Zimbabwe farmer had done just the same, they would have been able to keep it.

    He also said the giving of land was not back to normal people but to the military supporters of Mugabe who, as you would expect, had abolutely no knowledge of farming and hence lots of the former wealth of Zimbabwe was just allowed to rot.

    Lots of blacks who had previously had direct and indirect employment from the farms soon had nothing and with no social security, nothing does mean nothing.

  • sean

    Greenflag — What if Zimbabawe had oil , USA and their Imperialist sidekick the British, do the descent thing etc. What a load of old rubbish . Since when did these two war mongering powers one led by a total madman, ever do the decent thing .You are not seriously suggesting that they invade Zimbabawe, under the pretext of Human Rights , Democracy etc as they did in Iraqi, instigate murder and mayhem between ethnic groups, form murder gangs , install torture camps and disappear people who could possibly be a threat to their theft of the resources of Iraqi oil, hold sham elections and install a Stooge Goverment. Hell man, surely you would not wish the long suffering Zimbabawe people , who have seen their country economy being destroyed by Britian and American Imperialist Sanction’s so they can Engineer regime change and install the Failed Assassin and slave master bootlicker Tsvangirai. I suppose for a man who in previous post said that the racist slave master Ian Smith was misunderstood I should not be surprised that you would wish this on the people of Zimbabawe . People like you have to be reminded that the people of Zimbabawe fought a long and costly Liberation struggle to be free from Imperialist rule, whilst they were fighting for their freedom ,neither Britian or America raised a hand to help , but instead done all in their power to prolong minority white racist rule. you are not seriously suggesting that either of these Imperialist power give a dam about , Freedom, Democracy, Human Rights,etc. Ask the people in Palestine , Sudi Aribia, Chile , Vietnam, Central America, Nicaragua, etc , etc , etc ,etc ,etc, what American and British Imperialist did for their rights , yes you probably all ready know what they’ll tell you ,they did sweet FUC-ALL. Imperialist only interes in Zimbabawe is to stall Land Reform , take full controll of the huge untapped mineral resources,stem the ever growing influence of China in Zimbabweans and Southern Africa in general, allow the IMF and other Impearalist moneylenders back in so as they once again become slaves in their own country. They are even prepared to increase the horrendous Sanctions that has seen ,thousands lose their jobs and enter S.Africa. They have even started too sabotage much needed oil supplies to Zimbabawe, by offering way above the price Zimbabawe had already agreed . They have in effect declared economic Terrorism. But the Western Media never mention this, instead focus on spreading lies and disinformation , and acting as cheerleader for the Failed Assassin.

  • Greenflag

    Sean ,

    Here’s some more ‘disinformation’for you . But you’ll probably have to take your Zanu PF hood off off your head to read it . There’s a village out there looking for an idiot . When you apply -don’t forget not to take your blinkers off 🙁

    Many of the Bulawayo civil servants don’t even go to work for much of the day; instead, they wait in bank lines, which are often even longer than bread lines. Why would anyone put their money in a bank when the Zimbabwean currency depreciates as much as 20 percent a day? No choice, is why. Those in the lines at Stanbic Bank and the Intermarket Building Society in downtown Bulawayo early this week were a mix of government employees, whose salaries go right into their bank accounts, and others who are receiving remittances from the Zimbabwean diaspora (it’s illegal to withdraw hard currency). These lines are even more tragic than the bread lines; depositors are only allowed by law to withdraw 25 billion Zim dollars a day–and on Tuesday the exchange rate of 11 billion to one U.S. dollar made that worth about U.S. $2.27.

    Do the math: an average laborer earns Z$ 15 billion a day. Buses or minibuses to work cost at least Z$3 billion each way, and often more if you’re farther from town. A kilogram of chicken or beef at the T.M. Hyper store, Bulawayo’s biggest supermarket, costs Z$ 22-23 billion–if they have any, and 90 percent of the Wal-Mart-sized store’s shelves are empty. On the day I visited, scores of people were queued up at the registers and every one of them had the same purchase, a Z$ 2.8 billion dollar plastic bag of nondescript tea biscuits, about three-quarters of a pound of them. No one was buying meat.

  • Greenflag

    Sean

    ‘the Western Media never mention this, instead focus on spreading lies and disinformation ‘

    So you won’t appreciate the BBC’s John Simpson’s report from Harare . Mugabe makes Stalinist Communist Russias election look like model democracy 🙁

    More from J.Simpson .

    ‘Mugabe boasts of Zimbabwe’s isolation in the world, and maintains that it is a sign of the country’s true independence.

    As a result, the economy here is now in free-fall.

    When I arrived in Harare on Monday, the Zimbabwean dollar had fallen to 9 billion to the US dollar. On Tuesday it was 12 billion, and on Wednesday 15 billion.

    ‘Inflation is said to be 165,000%.

    One member of my team bought some apples at a supermarket. In between taking them off the shelves and walking over to the check-out desk, he was told apologetically that the price had doubled.

    Robert Mugabe blames all this on the western world and its sanctions.

  • Pounder

    Sweet Jesus Sean, it’s called a return key, use it please.

    Now that that’s out of the way. After several months of beatings and murders Mugabe got his way, dubiously. I guess as long as you control the military democracy is only a minor inconvenience