Zimbabwe: Reform Or Ruse?

Zimbabwe’s opposition party has reached agreement with Robert Mugabe’s organization to achieve some political reform in time for the next election. Mugabe has given up his ability to directly appoint one-quarter of the legislature, a key prop to maintaining a majority and controlling the body. However, the reforms will only improve the chances for the opposition if the election is clean:

Zimbabwe’s opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, yesterday struck a deal with Robert Mugabe to change the country’s electoral laws.
The rule change abolishes President Mugabe’s right to appoint 30 MPs, removing a major hurdle to the opposition winning an election.
But it also increases the number of constituencies from 120 to 210, which the ruling Zanu-PF party could easily gerrymander to return loyalist MPs.
But observers believe that the deal could mark a breakthrough and that talks chaired by South Africa could produce a new constitution in time for presidential and parliamentary elections next March. The process, however, remains subject to Mr Mugabe’s veto and there are no assurances of a free and fair ballot.

Even if the opposition wins the election, they’re not going to like what they get. The Telegraph reports now that Mugabe says inflation has slowed — to 6,592.8%. (It’s the 0.8% that really hurts, of course.) The country still is careening to complete collapse, as the International Crisis Group warns in its latest analysis. Winning the election and taking control of the government will put the MDC in charge just in time to preside over the catastrophe.
And that depends on Mugabe changing his stripes enough to refrain from stealing the election. Mugabe hasn’t been particular about restraining himself in order to allow democracy to flourish. He has made himself into a President-for-Life through intimidation, fraud, and corruption. If he allowed the kind of accountability that democracy imposes, he knows he’d spend the last few hours of his life up against the wall or preparing to mount the gallows. He can’t afford to let the MDC take charge, not unless he has a death wish.
The ICG recommends that the Southern African Development Community push to get Mugabe to resign his position. So far, they have proven themselves uninterested in assisting Zimbabwe’s people to free themselves from Mugabe’s disastrous rule. If Mugabe tries corrupting the next election, the question may be which of the SADC members will save Mugabe’s life by offering him asylum — which may be the best solution of all.

8 thoughts on “Zimbabwe: Reform Or Ruse?”

  1. By next March, Zimbabwe will probably be in complete chaos, such that would make Darfur look like a New England town-meeting. Of course, the Dems will call for US military/humanitarian intervention.

  2. You expect a hue and cry from Africans?
    You’re kidding me, RIIGHT?
    Heck, they’re galvanizing now to say OJ’s been set up.
    My guess is that Mugabe wants to join his Swiss Bank Account. So he’s probably looking for “Let’s Make A Deal.” And, he’s Realizing that Saddam didn’t remain safe within his own borders. He’ll have to bribe the usual suspects at the UN.
    What was Zimbabwe’s last name? Was it Rhodesia? Have you noticed it looks worse under black rule? Yet if Whites go to help, you know it won’t be appreciated. It’s the “occupiers” that never get a break.

  3. And that’s the official inflation rate, & Mugabe’s not been especially forthright about it in the past. Might as well print their banknotes on bogroll…

  4. Which African country has made a success of itself?
    I cannot think of one.
    All followed the failed leftist policies of Europe.

  5. Yes, Jimmy Peanuts will make sure that Mugabe isn’t driven from office and will decry the Zionist plot to unseat this unfairly defamed humanitarian. Maybe Chavez will offer Mugabe assylum, so they can pool their talents and make Venezuela the worker’s paradise that Mugabe made of Rhodesia.
    Frankly if I were the head of any country African or otherwise, the last thing I would want would be for Mugabe and his thugs to come to my country.
    But if rational thinking were utilized in Africa they’d have much fewer problems than they presently have. Sad to see this wonderful country go to hell in Mugabe’s handbasket.

  6. Zimbabwe has twoo ways out- the first is to declare war against the US and declare defeat before the Democrats declare defeat first. If they are able to beat the Dems to surrender then we will lavish upon them the Zimbabwe Marshall plan, which will sink into the latest black hole of corruption known as African leadership.
    The second way is to sue us for the legacy of slavery and colonialism. I forget which country in Africa has done this to the US recently but the usual reparation crowd has started crowing about taking it seriously. If I remember correctly its a country that we have nothing to do with.
    So there are the two easiest ways for the Zimbabweans to get some easy money out of the leftist crowd that may very well take over America in ’09.
    And yes, send in the peanut farmer to assure free elections. The people that he certifies as winners have exemplary track records in human rights and democracy. BTW, who made him the election score keeper? How do I get that job?

  7. Some info for those not familiar with Africa:
    1. “Which African country has made a success of itself?
    I cannot think of one.”
    BOTSWANA, and NAMIBIA. Hey, not much, but there is a model for African progress. Unfortunately, these two countries have not used the statist model the leftist NGOs and Europeans, to say nothing of other African states, feel comfortable with.
    2. “sue us for the legacy of slavery and colonialism” First, African slaves in the pre-Civil War U.S. overwhelmingly came from west Africa. Further, peer-reviewed studies have indicate that colonized, vs non-colonized, tropical nations, for want of a better term, have superior records of economic growth and social welfare. Although maybe they could sue European universities who educated most of Africa’s post colonial rulers.
    3. “declare war against the US and declare defeat” That might be a plan. The next Zimbabwe ruler might want to screen the hilarious, but at least in those days too true, 1950’s movie “The Mouse that Roared” starring Alec Guinness.

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