Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Zimbabwe's new chapter?

After the cowardly strong arming of South Africa, Morgan Tsvangarai has been sworn in as Zimbabwe's new Prime Minister, leading a Cabinet the majority of which does not include the murderous gangster group - Zanu PF.

According to the BBC, Tsvangarai has said the first priority is to get the economy working again, with an end to political violence and all public sector workers to be paid in foreign currency - effectively declaring an end to the virtually worthless Zimbabwe Dollar.

Mugabe will hope this will shield him and his gangsters from scrutiny and attention, and that it protects their booty from being taken off them, and them all from arrest for the violence and kleptomania they are guilty of. Mugabe undoubtedly also hopes it can mean aid flows freely, and his fellow thugs can claim their share - and his lavish lifestyle can continue uninterrupted.

However, it is difficult to say what will happen. The government may not achieve much if policies don't change, if Mugabe's mob stop political intimidation and free speech cannot return to Zimbabwe. For without fundamental change, this is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Mr Tsvangarai will hope he can exercise authority to make some improvements, and that Mugabe is weakened - or better yet, that if it all stalls he can blame it on Mugabe and Zanu-PF, and he will have some power base to call for new elections and for them to be monitored and policed effectively.

I am not optimistic though. The best answer for Zimbabwe would have been mercenaries to stage a coup and overthrow Mugabe - because he and his thugs have rampaged through that once wealthy land and taken what they wished, and harmed those in their way. There should be no Western aid to Zimbabwe, except through private channels that have nothing to do with the state, whilst Mugabe is in power. Let's hope the change in Zimbabwe is the beginning of the end of this vileness. Africa must surely be tired of being ruled by thieving murdering thugs and their henchmen.

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