I can hear jubulate shouting as Mugabe stands down. At last the old fart has got the message. His days of tyranny and murder and crooking the system are over. But what about South Africa? At least we have identified the A-hole President Zuma for the mismanagement and crisis he has lead this country to. Our currency should be strong as our gold reserves. When are you going Zuma??
Glad to hear that Mugabe finally took the hint and stepped down, but I think this "Crocodile" who is going to take over does not look like a nice man. He couldn't be after heading Mugabe's security services.
Mark, It would fill volumes to relate the crooked deviant Zuma and his family. His son is a corrupt drain on our society as were Mugabe's two sons. Only a few weeks ago Mugabe's lot were defiantly popping corks on R70,000 a bottle champagne and then pouring it over their R250,000 watches to prove they were water resistant. How sick is that? Not as sick as what Zuma has done to this country in collusion with the Gupta's. He is a mastermind crook.
Seeing all those people happy and dancing in the streets because Mugabe finally resigned, I do wonder whether he and his cronies actually ask themselves whether they outstayed their welcome. Or are they so convinced of their importance that they don't even make the connection between their departure and the public's obvious joy?
I guess other dictators and presidents-for-life will not take a lesson from this either.
bjd - So right in your summing up of this African crisis. A lot remains to be seen. If there are new elections next year there is going to be an enormous shift in party politics and I see the opposition winning ( as they did previously and then Mugabe killed them off so he could be the winner...). He and his cronies don't even consider they have outstayed their part in a government. It's all POWER and MONEY. They hang in there for all it's worth. Look at us down here in SA. We are in the same position (politically not economically) as Zim. We have someone who will not go but lucky for us he will never stay another term as this is not in our constitution. Zim rules by different laws. I think we are more like UK and America where a President cannot remain for longer than two terms, whether the people like him or not.
South Africa is a far more developed economy, with far more educated people of all racial backgrounds. Unfortunately "leaders" such as Mugabe only exacerbate the problems of Global South (an economic and social, not strictly geographic, concept. The rise of fundamentalist religion, whether Christian, Muslim, Hindu or other, is another problem, especially in terms of women's rights and contraception.
I'm not very hopeful about the "new" leadership, but a lot of people there seem to want more democracy and less corruption. The Internet is a major influence, now that many people even in poor countries have smartphones and share the info with their families, work colleagues, neighbours and friends.
I saw all of this just trying to decipher the Spanish news crawl at the bottom of a TV screen and without knowing any of the details.
Today back in Paris, I saw that Mugabe was in good spirits, happy to go back to farming and perhaps $10 million richer due to a deal. And I still think "small price to pay" without knowing anything about the new guy.
He's got far more than ten million. Does anyone think over all these years he's just been drawing his wage as President? The ten million is just the icing on the cake, if he did actually get it which some deny.
However, that might be a mistake. There have been new fiscal regulations applied to the country a week or so ago, supposedly to help their financial situation, but they have caused chaos. Food and fuel is scarce and shopkeepers/garages/suppliers are demanding that payment only be made in US dollars plus have raised the prices by double at least.
Do you ever do an "easy" trip? Like me you tend to prefer countries where there is a bit of "dynamic change" going on. A riot or two. an attempted coup, guys wearing AK47s on their backs. The selfie stick tourists stay away and you get good prices for accommodation and the locals are tied up in their own problems and don't hassle you. At least that is what I have found.
Travel! Set out and head for pastures new[br] Life tastes the richer when you’ve road worn feet.[br]Ibn Battuta[br]
Yes, I've seen this news. We'll have to see if it affects things in the country, but I doubt it, other than a vast amount of money being spent on a funeral. There were periods of hope and stability during his rule, I remember the 90's especially, but it never lasted and if anything the day to day life of the average inhabitant is now worse - not as bad as the worst times, but generally. Mrs M goes regularly for work purposes and I'll probably be there a couple of times before the end of the year.
I can see Zambia falling further and further into problems as well, not helped by Chinese and Indian money often whereby a joint project is started with the government, the work starts when the first instalment is paid by the government and then stops when they don't pay any more. Never mind the lack of electricity due to the poor rains stopping any industrial production. A small example is a butchers shop near me that produces nearly German standard meats. They've closed because the rental has tripled because the shopping arcade was bought by foreigners plus they were spending any profits on fuel for the generator to keep the fridges and freezers running.
I did not pay super close attention to the information about his life today, but it appeared the Mugabe was not a bad president up until the moment he confiscated the land of the former colonial farmers in 2000, which might have been somewhat justified except for the fact that the way it was done totally destroyed the country's economy. And the country has never recovered from that, not to mention coming pretty close to provoking a racial war at the same time.
He as always prone to violence against any opposition but they ended up being a little toothless anyway because the country under him was doing fairly well. In the late 90's he began to believe his own godship even more and coupled with a growing opposition and his popularity on the wane he felt he needed to do something to bolster his image. Often a country will go to war (think Falklands) to get everyone behind their leader against a common enemy. But he decided to try and fulfil one of his election promises and that was to return the land to the rightful owners. He'd been doing that anyway here and there seemingly with little enthusiasm, but now he could really stir the pot and get the populace fully on his side. So he did.
Unfortunately, with his short term thinking and wanting an immediate benefit, plus giving the land to his associates and those he owed favours to, who are/were not professional farmers, the only source of mass produced food, by the white professional farmers, was taken away. He shot himself in the foot but lived on to just grind the country into disaster over the next decade and more. His legacy, no matter how inept the government is now and suffering from the same cronyism, greed, selfishness and corruption, would even if they did everything right, take more decades to work themselves out of the shitheap situation they are now in.
Imagine an intelligent and beautiful woman or a handsome man being riddled with self-inflicted drug taking problems for the short term satisfaction and no matter what outside forces may try and do to stop them, they continue on and on and on until they are a shell of their former attractiveness. There can still be beauty in the country, but sometimes hard to find when the day to day life is so hard for the common person. The countryside is beautiful and the people are gracious, polite and kind, but far too long suffering - and powerless - and it wasn't until the Army stepped in, because Grace was groomed to be made President and she wasn't a fan of the Army who she felt had too much power, did Mugabe fall. He couldn't use violence and intimidation against the Army, he usual and only tactics, so had nothing left in his playbook to keep hold of his position.
I see that China is celebrating a great hero of independence. Perhaps he was for a short while but sticking to power like a limpet on a rock is not the way to leave a great legacy. On French radio they compared him to Mandela, also having spent time in prison, but Mandela was not power-hungry, the way Mugabe was.
I wonder how much the state will continue paying out to his widow.