Mugabe: End of an Era?

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Zimbabwean tyrant Robert Mugabe looks set to lose the Presidential poll and fall from power after 28 years of despotic rule. Speculation has been rife over the past few days about whether or not Mugabe would be able to hold on to his presidency after the suspicious elections earlier this week. Unconfirmed reports this evening suggest that Mugabes ruling party Zanu PF is in talks with the opposition MDC regarding the possibility of Mugabe handing over power. At this momentous point we should remember that Zimbabwe has known no other ruler since its independence from the UK, he has ruled them with an iron fist for 28 years and turned the former bread basket of Africa in to it’s basket case. The fall of Mugabe would be a momentous moment not just for Zimbabwe but for the African continent and the wider world.

Admittedly tonights developments came as a suprise to me as I personally believed that Mugabe would rig the polls to make a Presidential run off inevitable, a run off which I believed he would suspiciously go on to win. However it would appear that Mugabe can only rig so much and it looks as though he does not have the staunch allys in politics and the armed forces that he once did, perhaps his hand has been forced and a run off is now unlikely. I think it has become painfully clear to Mugabe that he is a dead man walking in political terms, he can no longer legitimately claim victory in this election, that time has come and gone. Now all he can hope for is a suitible retirement plan. Mugabe will not cede power until he is sure he will be free from prosecution, of this I am confident.

I would suspect that he will be offered legal immunity and “self imposed” exile in South Africa where, despite his pledge to remain in Zimbabwe, he will meet his maker. Speculation aside one thing is clear, Mugabes day is fading fast and now Zimbabwe can at least try to salvage its crippled economy and breathe life back in to its society. A society that has been pillaged by Mugabe and all but excommunicated by the international community. Perhaps Zimbabwe will return to the Commonwealth? Who knows I’m sure it will all become clear as the weeks progress but at long last Zimbabwe has cause for hope.

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