Where to Mugabe?

HARARE - President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF might have swept to victory through foul means as alleged by rivals, but the grim reality of dealing with a stunted economy and creating jobs are the sternest test for the 89-year-old ruler.

Mugabe might also not have the stamina to effectively supervise his ministers, a situation which could further entrench corruption and fuel economic collapse.

Since 1980, Zimbabweans have known only one president and that is Mugabe, whose 33 years in office is likely to be extended by a further five years.

A look back into time shows that in the 1980s Mugabe, who is now referred to as “Mdara Bob” because of his advanced age by both friends and foes, is responsible for creating one of Africa’s most educated nations, building hospitals and also making the country the breadbasket of Africa.

But those were the glory days which have been eclipsed by charges of elitism, cronyism and corruption and human rights abuses.

In the late 1990s under Mugabe’s watch the economy began an unprecedented downward spiral that he and his recycled deadwood failed to repair.

In recent years, political rivals have accused him of turning a nation once known as the breadbasket of southern Africa into one racked by hunger and once sky-high inflation.

But against odds he has soldiered on defying old age and ignoring charges of human rights violations.

In 2008, his party lost to his bitter rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, who did not get enough votes to avoid a runoff.

Opposition party supporters were beaten, tortured and killed, rights groups said, and Tsvangirai withdrew from the runoff in protest. The post-election violence left about 200 people dead and thousands injured.

Regional leaders dismissed that election as a sham and pressured the two to form a power-sharing agreement, which led to a tense coalition in 2009.

Mugabe’s main opponent became prime minister, and the squabbles continued.

But this time Sadc, which helped Zimbabwe during the transition phase, has given Africa’s oldest leader a clean health bill endorsing the elections as free and fair.

Economists and political advisors say with Mugabe at the helm, armed with his populist expropriation policies, there is no way Zanu PF could rescue the country from the edge of a precipice.

Renowned economist John Robertson said Zanu PF enforced policies such as indigenisation will “indeed bleed the economy” and “discourage investors”.

“We need restoration of the rule of law, including inhibition of unauthorised land and other property acquisitions,” Robertson said, adding that Zanu PF’s empowerment policy was benefiting a few.

When Mugabe ruled alone without a coalition government donors distanced themselves, sending Zimbabwe on a downward economic spiral.

By 2008, the nation’s inflation had soared to 200 million percent.

Food shelves were empty, and a loaf of bread cost about one trillion Zimbabwean dollars.

International isolation continued to hit the economy as corruption remained rife.

But since 2009 when the coalition government was formed, economic experts say the country has made major strides. Since 2010, the nation’s gross domestic product “has grown by an average of over seven percent and inflation has remained in the low single digits,” the International Monetary Fund said last month.

“Government revenues have more than doubled from 16 percent of GDP in 2009 to an estimated 36 percent of GDP in 2012, allowing the restoration of basic public services.”

But that might change as Mugabe threatens to takeover foreign owned firms and with two thirds majority his party has the leverage to tighten the screws on foreign entities.

Among the major economic challenges, Mugabe’s government ought to address is massive unemployment — hovering above 80 percent, revive industry currently operating at way below 50 percent capacity, attract foreign direct investment (FDI), which has dwindled by 57 investments over the past year.

Mugabe has his recycled ministers since 1980 to look up to for solutions and political analysts doubt the former ruling party has ideas to confront problems they could not solve since 1980 to 2008.

A new Constitution that had the input of the major political parties is already under threat with Zanu PF legal pointman Patrick Chinamasa indicating that the charter that among other democratic advances whittles powers of the president and also imposes term limits on army generals known to support Zanu PF rule.

Celebrations in the capital, Harare  are muted with mutterings and questions of “where to now” from a shocked electorate.

Inside Zanu PF, its reality check as factions eyeing to succeed him renew their fight after an uneasy four-week truce.

It’s back to the trenches and Mugabe is right in the middle of that storm.

He would now want to hand over the baton but to whom with Joice Mujuru and Emmerson Mnangagwa both eying to take over?

Comments (22)

Though ZANU PF has won, nothing will change for anyone because ZANU PF is a Leopard that never changes its spots . Once a Leopard always a Leopard. ZANU PF members of parliament are now concentrating on the succession battle and not to improve the Zimbabwe situation. They will not improve anything , roads will continue to dissintergrate, water woes will continue, electricity woes will continue, hospitals and schools will close again, the economy will nose dive again .

Tsoko Yemusango - 4 August 2013

Brothers and sisters, the suffering is back! Wtach this space. The zimdollar is coming back as promised and you know what that means. They are going to steal all your US$ in the bank and they will give you bearer cheques. The price of fuel will shot and then the country is going to run dry, the shops are once again going to be very clear, no soap, no sugar, simply nothing. I am sorry but most of us tried but what could we do with such massive rigging. Good luck and may god have mercy on the ever suffering people of Zimbabwe

bingo wajakata - 4 August 2013

WHAT u are saying is not true about his achievements. we must read into history and tell the truth. education has been at the forefront of the country from the 50's, everyone knows that and how did all those old maggots in zanu got their education in rural areas...it was a white govt agenda since prime minister garfield todd took office - he made it clear that blackand white were to have equal opportunities starting with education for all and since that time zim has never backed down on education and uncle bob just carried on the heritage, not that he was the champion of it. agriculture in zim was carried from colonial era and those white farmers did it, mugabe just jumped onto the bandwagon.

familyguy - 4 August 2013

so, truly reading into the situation uncle bob never did anything. he used to feed off the fat left by the white govt till it dried up and his true leadership qualities came into question.

familyguy - 4 August 2013

What can Mugabe and his dead wood do to Zimbabwe? Nothing and very nothing. We are just a cursed country to have such an evil old man as our president. God bless Zimbabwe.

Jabu - 4 August 2013

chinotmba will be rewarded with a min post possibly higher educ since he is among the few who has not been recycled. cop that zimbabweans.

garahuro one - 4 August 2013

chinotmba will be rewarded with a min post possibly higher educ since he is among the few who has not been recycled. cop that zimbabweans.

garahuro one - 4 August 2013

@BINGO WAJAKATA what you are saying is 100% correct ,the first thing ZANU is going to do is to pass a law that gives them the power to go into your bank account & take your US dollars so that they pay NIKUV & IMF ,The zimdollar is on its way by the way it is not acceptable as a currency but the this time we are in for a fix.But in ZANU PF camp the succession war has just started ,

CASHTALK - 4 August 2013

ALL the promises that were being given to the people ,l am not seeing the light at the end of the tunnel ,INDEGINISATION BILL to who by the way .lf they take these companies are they also going to indeginise the very customers from these companies.l see disaster here this is going to cause more harm than good truly speaking you mix ECONOMICS & POLITICS YOU GET A DEAD ECONOMY.

CASHTALK - 4 August 2013

I just getting impatient to hear Mugabe announce his all out Zpf cabinet and awash himself with fools false imaginations. Isu yedu miromo zip. But He better should bring food on the table otherwise vachasura chando sekuru avo. Basa ravarikarira iro ndiro richaendesa muguva. Chekuba hachipfumisi uye chinomhangara

Gedhi boy - 4 August 2013

Well done Tsvangirai my hero. Nobody on the face of the earth could have won such a flawed poll. Nayo nayo. Its ''power'' they want , it is power that we give them. For now all mouths shut as we watch and see.

Doret - 4 August 2013

Zanu-PF stole a blank cheque from the public purse now it can - pay the Chinese; award themselves pecks; sell mineral resources for a song; control RBZ and print trillions. We will once again all be zillionaires!

Gondobwe - 4 August 2013

They will never bring the Zim dollar. Remember Mugabe was nearly toppled by rogue soldiers after the Zim dollar hongie pongie. He will be signing his assassination note

Saviours Chinamasa - 4 August 2013

Mugabe should just read the mood of his perceived voters before he acts. AREAS HE DARES NOT TOUCH ARE 1. THE ZIM DOLLAR RETURN 2. THE PEOPLE WRITTEN COPAC CONSTITUTION. Millions were wasted and millions voted YES to a constitution that Chinamasa recently vowed to clean..

Dum Dube - 4 August 2013

The lack of excitement in this election shows that people Zanu pf and Mdc alike have heeded the keep quiet and let them rule approach. I also believe the rural masses in the backdrop of 2008 gave him a false send off. Mugabe shouldn't over ejaculate over this fake victory, otherwise he shall be surprised by the same masses he thinks are backing him. Recall the days towards the down fall of Gaddafi and Saddam

Deliwe - 4 August 2013

Winners ok, if anyone did win these elections why is it that in the rural, mining, farming and urban areas the atmosphere is sombre no one is celebrating, no horns being blown why???? Kana mu O' level akanyora 9 subjects akawana 1C grade ne ma D grades 8 anopembera wani. Asi pa 61% hapana arikufara ma one???

Gombototo - 5 August 2013

Minister Chinotimba for Local Government TO FINISH CHOMBO's RUINS

onslo - 5 August 2013

SAVE zvakaoma hazvo. Rega vatonge

chamboko - 5 August 2013

Mugabe you can outfox Tsvangirai but you can't outfox God

zvichapera hazvo - 5 August 2013

Zvimbw Republic is on our door steps. So lets wait and see. God is not a fool. If we reason we will be killed. Time will tell. Deprived VOTER

Bangida - 5 August 2013

"Save" ndarwadziwa, asi izvi zvinamashura chete. keep on pressing. We voted for u,80%, u won but they stole.keep on pressing claiming what belongs to you.God is on our side, all.

jonzo - 5 August 2013

"Save" ndarwadziwa, asi izvi zvinamashura chete. keep on pressing. We voted for u,80%, u won but they stole.keep on pressing claiming what belongs to you.God is on our side, all.

jonzo - 5 August 2013

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