Hope for Zimbabwe

In the United States we have fair representation, checks and balances on government controls, and a free market with limited government controls. Not all countries are this lucky.

 

The people of Zimbabwe and the previous generation have never gotten the taste of this sort of freedom in decision making, and have had to tolerate years of oppression and injustice.

 

Last semester I was enrolled in an African politics class and completed an in depth study on the politics and history of Zimbabwe. They were a British colony that underwent years of racial and political subversion as European settlers extracted as much as they could out of the resources that Zimbabwe could provide. After some years of unrest and some fighting, natives were able to throw off the British Government in 1980. The people elected Robert Mugabe to lead them. Instead of creating a totally new government and constitution the people of Zimbabwe simply took the pre-independence shell that the British left. In this way they people weren’t allowed to have a voice in the creation of their government.

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Over the years, Mugabe was able to extract more and more power by handing out favors, intimidating opposing groups through military might, rigging elections, and monopolizing the country’s resources. This form of government control is called neo-patrimonialism; where one man acts in a manipulative fatherly way. Whenever groups rise up to object Mugabe, they get taken out through violent or economic intimidation, so the people there have been pretty hopeless.

 

In the past year, the people of Zimbabwe have become more vocal about their Zimbabwean leadership and Zimbabwean political parties have caught on. His own party, Zanu-PF, last week created a list of “crimes” that Mugabe has committed including giving his unelected wife political power. All of these crimes amass to a request for impeachment. The Zimbabwean government will come together to vote on impeachment on Wednesday.

 

Pastor Evan Mawarire led a Social Media Campaign to amass in Harare on Wednesday alongside members of the Zanu-PF party to pressure Mugabe to leave office. 

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