Robert Mugabe Won’t Share Power

The latest attempt to revive Zimbabwe’s power-sharing agreement has failed.

From the Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire

“Four months after a power-sharing agreement was signed, Zimbabwe still does not have a permanent government. Robert Mugabe isn’t interested in sharing power—but he may lose it.

Zimbabwe’s parliament is due to reconvene on January 20th, just 24 hours after the collapse of the latest attempt to resurrect the power-sharing agreement forged in September 2008. Robert Mugabe, leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), claims that “we will continue with discussions here at home”. However, his main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the main faction of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is—understandably—less sanguine, stating that the talks had made no progress and that the failure was the “darkest day of our lives”…

[Mugabe] On the way out?
In fact, economic conditions are likely to prove decisive. After years of misrule, Mr Mugabe’s position is becoming increasingly untenable. He has enough influence to remain in power for the time being—possibly even until 2010—but events are conspiring against him. Internally, the economic collapse will mean that nearly half of the population will require food aid during the next six months, increasing the tide of opposition against him. Compounding this is a cholera epidemic that has already killed more than 2,000 and threatens to spill over into neighbouring states. Although popular resentment of his rule has failed to worry Mr Mugabe in the past, the president’s ability to keep his patronage networks intact is diminishing. Sources of financing for the government are decreasing in line with the economic collapse, and opposition to Mr Mugabe from within Zanu‑PF is understood to be increasing. It seems likely, therefore, that power will pass out of Mr Mugabe’s hands at some point over the next 18 months.


3 Responses

  1. It’s a brave prediction to claim that that power will pass out of Mr Mugabe’s hands at some point over the next 18 months.Mugabe will never relinquish power, regardless what the world, Africa or Zimbabweans want. He believes Zimbabwe is his personal possession and is unwilling to give it back to its rightful owners.Therefore this prediction implies that either Mugabe dies (from natural causes or from the attentions of internal agents who decide his patronage is no longer worth their profit from it) or is forcibly driven out. Internal uprising is highly unlikely in the absence of foreign involvement and neighbouring states are unlikely to intervene on that basis. For the same reason external intervention is unlikely. Mugabe has set up a finely balanced network of security apparatus that would make an internal attempt on his life very difficult and dangerous for would be plotters.It seems we rely on God to send Mugabe to his eternal home. Given His dallying with this decision in the past, I re-iterate; that’s a brave prediction.

  2. Full Story with Economist readers’ comments.

  3. Mugabe should be assassinated and his regime toppled by force of arms. He has destroyed beautiful Rhodesia and enslaved her people. The irony is great.

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