s character, threatened to use violence against MDC president, Morgan Tsvangirai, if the opposition movement should stage demonstrations.
He has placed a great deal of faith in his army, police, youth militia thugs and the CIO to do the dirty job for him. A particularly disturbing, but not surprising, event was Mugabe’s threatening Tsvangirai with death. It is obvious that Tsvangirai is now in mortal danger.
Mugabe’s outrageous speech, while reflecting an obviously deranged mind of an ageing dictator, must be taken seriously. Each time Mugabe has issued such threats in the past his youth militia thugs have wreaked havoc on the opposition supporters.
Mugabe’s threat reflects his desire to finally and decisively deal with Tsvangirayi. For the MDC president stands between Mugabe and his retirements plans. Mugabe would like to retire but he wants to make sure he leaves behind a successor who has a chance of winning in the next presidential elections.
Mugabe’s hand-picked successor, Joyce Mujuru, is not only unelectable, just like Emmerson Mnangagwa, she does not inspire any confidence, even within Zanu (PF). She is the Uhuru Kenyatta of Zimbabwe. Mugabe knows that eliminating Tsvangirai will make his succession plans for Mujuru easier.
The arrest of former Liberian freedom fighter- turned- dictator Charles Taylor, and widely distributed pictures of Taylor in handcuffs must have sent shivers in Mugabe, also a supposedly freedom fighter –turned –dictator who has committed crimes similar, if not worse.
But Mugabe also knows the consequences of killing Tsvangirai, just like the apartheid regime in South Africa was cognizant of what would happen if any harm befell Nelson Mandela. It would bring a swift and sustained condemnation of Mugabe and perhaps hasten the end of the regime in ways that Mugabe never imagined.
Some Zimbabweans may be wondering whether it is worth staging mass demonstrations against the 82-year-old geriatric Mugabe, given that Mugabe is now a spent force, a politically rotten apple that is about to fall anytime.
The strange reality in Zimbabwean politics is that Mugabe’s laundry list of supporters and sycophants are still hanging on to the ageing dictator even as he politically totters because of his advanced age and the pressures building on him. They know that Mugabe is headed for a disastrous end. Yet they still cling on to him religiously.
It will be interesting to watch how Mugabe’s faithful disciples fall like dominoes after their master collapses. But there are others who have seen the impending disastrous end and are now jumping the Zanu (PF) ship as it approaches the political iceberg. There can be no doubt that the stakes are now very high.
While most political writing has focused on the leadership split in the MDC and how the opposition movement has supposedly been rendered too weak to confront Mugabe there is, strangely enough, relatively less aggressive coverage on the decay within the ruling party.
The politics of the opposition movement in Zimbabwe are a legitimate subject of journalism and public debate. But the opposition is not in power. They do not have to account for anything, or be held responsible for the situation in the country.
Letter from America
BY STANFORD MUKASA
WASHINGTON - No one in his or her right mind can ever doubt the cold hard facts that Zimbabwe has passed all exits and detours on its one way to sheer hell.
And totally oblivious to a disintegrating country around him Mugabe has, true to hi