Zimbabwe: Decision of the People to Oust Mugabe

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Zimbabweans once again tried to change their leadership by demanding the departure of President Robert Mugabe who has ruled Zimbabwe for 21 years. His dictatorship delays progress and prosperity for all Zimbabweans as they suffer from high inflation, unemployment, and food shortages.

Unfortunately, the question remains: who won the presidential election on March 29, 2008? More than a week after the election, Zimbabweans continue to wait for results from the official electoral commission.   Meanwhile, fear of rigged elections by Mugabe
is mounting among civil society and in the opposition party – the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). The MDC has already claimed victory by 50.3% of their candidate Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai.  However, unofficial results and supporters of Mugabe contend that Mr. Tsvangirai received only 49% (Mugabe 42%) and are now calling for a run-off because neither candidate got the required 50%.   Across Zimbabwe, people are not sure if President Mugabe will accept defeat by honoring the people’s decision.  This is a decision full of many expectations, particularly the ability for the new president to improve Zimbabwe economic, political and social situation that has been declining since 1998.  As a result of such decline, according to World health Organization (WHO), life expectancy in Zimbabwe is now 34 years for men and 37 for women.

Under Mugabe, Zimbabwe has experienced endemic corruption, bad governance and several human rights violations.  In the early 1980’s, about 20,000 civilians of the Ndebele tribe were killed by his North Korean-trained 5th brigade.  Furthermore, Mubabe is
perceived to be racist by western nations because of his land reform policy and repression of the minority white Zimbabweans.

Robert Mugabe was originally a member of the Zimbabwe African Peoples Union (ZAPU) which he left in 1963 to join the Zimbabwe African National Union (ZANU). In 1987, he and Mr. Joshua Nkomo merged their parties to form the Zimbabwe African National
Union –Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) in a deal to end the violence in southern areas.  Using armed warfare (the Bush War
1964-1974), Mubage fought against the white minority who ruled Zimbabwe (then called Rhodesia ).  He became prime minister from 1980-1987, and then president of Zimbabwe to this day.  Since he declared himself president in 1987,  Mugabe has been re-elected
twice – in 1996 and 2002 – and is seeking re-election again in the presidential elections that took place on March 29th.

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