As Zimbabwe prepares for yet another elections which 94-yer-old President Robert Mugabe will contest, if his health permits, Zimbabwe should be looking at how the man who has ruled the country for 37 years has survived.
The Daily News, for example, reporting on the outcome of the 2002 Presidential elections said Mugabe’s victory was “likely to go down in history as probably the most fraudulent poll in the 21st century”.
The century was only two years old.
Zimbabwe was to hold other elections in 2005, 2008 and 2013.
Now 15 years later Mugabe is still hanging on and ready to contest yet another election.
Can he do what the Daily News asked 15 years ago?
“President Mugabe has managed to achieve what to everybody looked an impossibility: hanging on to power when all indications were that nearly everyone, including many of those in the inner circle of his party, wanted him to go. it was an unspoken national consensus that the man had become an unsustainable liability to the country and should have no further business running the affairs of state,” the paper wrote.
“Iit is. . .a very sad commentary on a man who rose to political prominence on the basis of his uncompromising advocacy for universal suffrage to be seen to have done everything possible to deny his fellow citizens that very right as the only way of ensuring he hangs on to power against the will of his compatriots. . . this election is likely to go down in history as probably the most fraudulent poll in the 21st century.”
Recent polls seem to favour Mugabe or at least his ZANU-PF?
Zimbabwe’s opposition parties have rubbished these polls.
One only hopes that they did so just for the media but are working on improving areas where they were reported to be weak because they can only ignore the polls at their own peril.
The main Movement for Democratic Change ignored a 2012 survey by Freedom House which indicated that support for Mugabe and ZANU-PF had improved since the 2008 elections while that for Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC had declined.
The election results confirmed this though the MDC cried foul saying the elections were stolen.
Below are the first 80 of the 626 Wikileaks cables on Mugabe
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