Wednesday, April 02, 2008

What is happening in the Zimbabwean situation?

Official election results in Zimbabwe are still hard to find. Unofficial returns from polling places themselves indicates that two-thirds of the country voted against Mad Bob Mugabe. But vote counts don’t necessarily translate into won elections. Mugabe has stolen elections in the past and won’t be shy to try it again if he must.

His problem is that he knows that attempting to steal an election which was a landslide against him will create an uprising. And uprisings in Africa are never a clean thing. If the mobs get hold of Mad Bob they will literally hack him to death. If they are feeling generous they might use the favorite killing tactic of the African National Congress, to put a rubber tire doused in petrol around the neck of the victim and setting it alight. The ANC called this “necklacing”. While not diamonds this necklace was also a gift that lasted forever.

Mugabe has to know that the real results show him utterly and totally defeated. Now the BBC reports that representatives of the Mugabe regime and opposition representatives are meeting with South African to negotiate a deal as to how the election will turn out. Welcome to Africa where elections are negotiated not won. Don’t be surprised, even the ANC and the parties in South Africa brokered a deal behind the scenes after the first “democratic” election there.

Mugabe has troops patrolling the streets of Harare. Residents have been ordered to remain indoors by the government. That is a sign that Mugabe knows that any results he announces, which show him doing well will lead to riots. And so far they are claiming that the opposition MDC has 67 seats in parliament to Mugabe’s 68 seats. Those results are highly inflated in Mugabe’s favor already.

Mugabe is not just literally mad, but he’s rather old. He knows his days are limited. The question for him and his generals is how to get out of Zimbabwe alive. The generals and Mugabe’s vampire elite would like to take their ill-gotten wealth and retire to a luxurious life. No doubt Mad Bob would purchase a mansion in the ultra chic neighborhood of Sandton, Johannesburg. It is already a favorite place for the ANC elite to live with their sudden millionaire status since “liberating” South Africa. Of course he might prefer the mansions of Houghton, where Nelson Mandela lives in his multimillion rand home, but Houghton is becoming a center for corporate offices more than residential property. And Sandton has some of the best shopping in the Souther Hemisphere and Mad Bob loves to go shopping. Since he can’t spend hundreds of thousands of dollars at Harrods anymore he might find Sandton City or Sandton Square acceptable alternatives.

The difficult point in negotiating a retreat by Mugabe will be that he has to bring enough of his military people with him. If too many are left behind, and fearful that they will be presecuted for the crimes they commited, they will resist the settlement. Even though the ANC has been kissing Mugabe’s behind for years they might be reluctant to take too many genocidal maniacs at one time. I have little doubt that the ANC would be happy to have Robert Mugabe living in South Africa, his genocidal attacks on the Matabele people never bothered them. They have their own brutality to ignore and what’s a little genocide between friends?

If a deal is worked out here is I suspect we will see the following. The Zimbabwean government will announce bogus returns which show Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party narrowly losing. Thus they will give control to the Movement for Democratic Change but only narrowly to preserve Mugabe’s ego as much as possible. Mugabe will make a sanctimonious speech about how he has always respected the will of the people and how his stepping down, after this loss, proves it. Of course, only the circumstances are forcing him to step down and if he thought he could get away with another totally stolen election he would do so. Mugabe and his vampire elite will then beat a hasty retreat for South Africa making sure that as much of the loot stolen from the Zimbabwean people is transferred to bank accounts there. The ANC will praise Mugabe as a leader for democracy (African style of course) and welcome him with open arms -- hoping that if they are ever put in a similar position that someone will do the same for them one day.

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