Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


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Sunday 19 December 2010

Another Awful African Dictator

It was only yesterday when I wrote here about Laurent Gbago, the man who has decided that he is still president of Côte d'Ivoire despite the outcome of a "run-off" election for the presidency.

Quite obviously, I mentioned that African "Presidents" (i.e. in many cases dictators) must be able to rely on their armies, and today we have news of the repellent "Dr" Robert Gabriel Mugabe; I have written numerous times on the subject of this extraordinary survivor, for example in my "Bandits" series a couple of years ago.

The Daily Telegraph reports that he is to impose an election on an unwilling populace and to ensure a proper democratic outcome, has sent forces out over the country to "persuade" the electorate that their best interests lie in supporting Zanu PF, "best interests" in this case meaning such as staying alive or retaining one's legs. He says he is ready to "bury the opposition." How reassuring; is he referring perhaps to the free graves that the Zimbabwean government offered to the thousands of cholera victims?

I do desperately hope that Mugabe's army proves to be unreliable, but I fear that my hopes are likely to be unfulfilled.

Meanwhile, today the New York Times has a piece showing some Zimbabwean reality - health-care for peanuts or other barter items:

Image source: New York Times

Never forget that under Ian Smith's government, the country, then called Rhodesia, was arguably one of the most prosperous on the continent.

Until the next time

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