Zimbabwe deteriorates under rule of Mugabe

October 1, 2008 — by Kevin Mu

Once a peaceful country with economic stability, Zimbabwe has become a country ruled ruthlessly by vicious dictator Robert Mugabe, who will stop at nothing to achieve his own selfish goals.

Since taking power with a decisive victory in Zimbabwe’s 1980 elections, Mugabe has led Zimbabwe, once one of Africa’s most prosperous countries, into economic chaos through corruption and extremely poor decisions. His land reform program, for example, which seized land from white farm-owners and distributed it among his supporters, quickly led to a spiraling decline in agricultural production and an immense shortage of basic goods.

Mugabe won the country’s presidential elections early this year against rival Morgan Tsvangirai, although many nations have accused his party of rigging the contest. In recent weeks, he has finally agreed to compromise and share power with his Tsvangirai by making him the prime minister.

Perhaps the agreement will mark a new era of government and return political and economic stability to the region. But knowing Mugabe’s past record, it is difficult to be sure. This deal is most likely a delusion; many fear that he will still be the de facto leader, holding most of the power and continuing to drive the country further into turmoil.

In fact, according to the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe website, economic inflation in Zimbabwe is now at a global high of 11 million percent and continues to increase rapidly. Nearly 80 percent of citizens are below the poverty line.

In addition, human rights in Zimbabwe have been greatly compromised under Mugabe. Assault, torture, kidnap and even murder by government agencies are common tactics. Discrimination and harassment of women and citizens who oppose the government continue to be issues that have not been resolved.

A complete overhaul of the government is required to fix this situation. Mugabe has proven himself to be a corrupt, destructive leader—it is difficult to believe that there will be any major positive changes in the country’s situation while he is in control.

Many citizens of Zimbabwe voiced their dissatisfaction with Mugabe in the 2008 elections, where Mugabe ran against his rival, Tsvangirai. In the official preliminary election tally, Tsvangirai gained 48 percent of the vote out of three candidates, beating Mugabe, but a majority of votes was needed in order to secure the election. Mugabe and Tsvangirai had a second election, from which Tsvangirai later withdrew due to intense violence and threats from Mugabe’s supporters. The results of the election drew intense criticism from local government opposition and nations across the globe that believed Mugabe did not win the election fairly.

Even if the people of Zimbabwe want change, it seems unlikely that Mugabe will relinquish his spot without a fight. His deceptive agreement with Tsvangirai is proof that he is not yet ready to step down. But a leader cannot be successful if he ignores the will of the people he governs, and Mugabe has done just that by going so far as to use violence to suppress political opposition.

The citizens of Zimbabwe cannot give up hope. Other nations across the globe will help Zimbabwe by pressuring Mugabe to resign, but the only real solution lies within the people themselves. These people, who have been deprived and oppressed for 30 years, must fight for their rights and for themselves. They need to take a stand against Mugabe in order to take their country back

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