Thursday, 1 August 2013

Earlier today, I held talks with former President Daniel Moi at State House, Nairobi. We discussed regional peace initiatives following the just concluded ICGLR summit which made recommendations that would see an end to conflicts in the DRC, Central African Republic and the Sudans.

Mugabe heading for victory


Much to the displeasure of many officials in the United Kingdom, 89-year old political veteran Robert Mugabe is set for another electoral victory in Zimbabwe 33 years after coming to power.
Early counting indicates that Mugabe will be a comfortable winner. Knowledge of who the real Mugabe is has been difficult to find particularly in the last 13 years since he undertook the most radical land reform laws ever seen in post colonial Africa. In 2000 Mugabe abandoned the British post colonial agreement which saw much of the land, owned by 6,000 white farmers, significantly replaced with 270,000 Black farmers. These small but significant holdings have given many Black people there status and a better standing of living.
According to the Roy Agyemang author of ‘Mugabe: Villain or Hero,’ it is the land reform or as it’s called there, ‘Indigenisation' which is the principal reason for Mugabe’s present success.
Speaking on Radio 4’s today programme yesterday he said, ‘now you see many more ordinary Zimbabweans with cars, tractors and air conditioning. There lives are better and it’s thanks to Mugabe.
Not everybody agrees with that view. With some citing the fact that before Mugabe’s land reform, Zimbabwe was the second largest African economy on the continent only surpassed by South Africa. However, if all the wealth stayed with a tiny white minority then it becomes a rather meaningless statistic for most Zimbabweans
In regards to the elections, we can only hope they are fought with fairness and without intimidation. The 870 journalists and 12,000 monitors out there right should be able to give us an indication as to how the elections have been conducted.
As for Mugabe, I don’t think anyone pretends he is a saint. But equally the villain that the West and in particularly the UK want to make him out to be should be taken with a pinch of salt.
Simon Woolley