آیا زیمبابو هم بسوی بهار میرود؟

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اتکای موگابه از نطر نظامی به  شبه نظامیانی است که عمدتاً از افراد قبیله خود او تشکیل شده است و همه آنها در اثر مصادره زمینهای سفیدپوستان به نان و نوا رسیده و به این خاطر نقشی ممتاز در جامعه یافته و بهر قیمت در پشت سر حزب زانو و شخص موگابه ایستاده اند. به لحاظ ایدئولوژیکی، رژیم موگابه؛ همانند رژیم ولایی ما در ایران، “دشمن” و “دساسیس” خارجی و نیروی سرنگون شده (سفید پوستان ) را محمل توجیه  و مبنای فلسفه قدرت و حاکمیت خود کرده است.

چانگرای

سه روز دیگر مردم زیمبابو به پای صندوق های رأی میروند به امید اینکه از شر دیکتاتور ۹۰ ساله خودشان که میخواهد ۴ سال دیگر، هم زنده بماند و هم فرمانروایی کند آزاد شوند. رقیب وی مورگان چانگرای، یک شخصیت اتحادیه ایی است که ۴ سال پیش هم با موگابه وارد رقابت شد. نتیجه انتخابات ریاست جمهوری باخت موگابه و پیروزی چانگرای بود. ولی پیروزی پارلمانی نامزدهای حزب چانگرایی عملی نبود و آنها بخشی از پارلمان را در اختیار گرفتند. ولی موگابه بجای واگذاری پست ریاست جمهوری، چماقداران خود را برای ضرب و شتم و مرعوب کردن رقیب خود اعزام کرد که نتیجه آن بیمارستانی شدن چانگرای با سرو کله خونین و مالین در اثر جراحات وارده بود. پس از بهبودی؛ مورگان چانگرای، ادامه ریاست جمهوری رابرت موگابه را نپذیرفت که سرانجام با وساطتت سازمان وحدت آفریقا، قدرت بین پست نخست وزیری، که وظیفه مدیریت سرویس و خدمات دولتی را عهده دار بود، و ریاست جمهوری، که همه اهرم های اصلی قدرت را در دست داشت، تقسیم شد. البته نخست وزیر جدید زیمبابو حتی برای تأمین بودجه سرویس و خدمات بعهده گرفته دولت خود نه به درآمد مالیاتی و یا حق الامتیازات دولتی مانند بهره برداری از معادن و سایر منابع طبیعی  که همه در کنترول رئیس جمهور موگابه میباشد، بلکه به کمکهای خارجی و در درجه اول اتحادیه اروپا متکی میباشد.

چندی پیش چانگرای در یک مصاحبه مطبوعاتی گفت دیگر حاضر نیست که دردوره آینده شریک قدرت موگابه باشد و اطمینانی هم به برگزاری سالم انتخابات و یا پذیرش نتیجه آراء از سوی رابرت موگابه ندارد.

روزنامه “استار” *چاپ کانادا در گزارشی پبرامون انتخابات آینده زیمبابو مینویسد، موگابه  و حزب “زانو” ی وی هیچ احتیاجی ندارند تا رأی بیاورند تا خود را پیروز اعلام کنند. این روزنامه از زیمبابو بعنوان سرزمینی قفل شده در جنوب آفریقا، گرفتار در چنبر نظامی “دزد سالار ـ کلیپتو کراسی”، سرزمینی فراموش شده که توجه کسی را جلب نمیکند نام میبرد.

برای اینکه خواننده با فرهنگ و کاراکتر موگابه ، این چهره برجسته چپ دموکرات انقلابی دهه ۶۰ و.۷۰ آفریقا و یکی از نوچه های سیاسی ایدئولوژیک اتحاد شوروی سابق آشنا شود کافیست اظهار نظر او را راجع به رقیبش .. چانگرای ذکر کنم. او میگوید : ” چانگرای از سگ ترسوی عموی منهم ترسو تراست. هروقت به او چخ میکردم فرار میکرد. او مُرد بدون اینکه حتی  یکبار هم که شده یک شکاری(طعمه) بگیرد.  چانگرای هم خواهد مرد بدون اینکه رنگ پیروزی را ببیند.”

اتکای موگابه از نطر نظامی به  شبه نظامیانی است که عمدتاً از افراد قبیله خود او تشکیل شده است و همه آنها در اثر مصادره زمینهای سفیدپوستان به نان و نوا رسیده و به این خاطر نقشی ممتاز در جامعه یافته و بهر قیمت در پشت سر حزب زانو و شخص موگابه ایستاده اند. به لحاظ ایدئولوژیکی، رژیم موگابه؛ همانند رژیم ولایی ما در ایران، “دشمن” و “دساسیس” خارجی و نیروی سرنگون شده (سفید پوستان ) را محمل توجیه  و مبنای فلسفه قدرت و حاکمیت خود کرده است.

برای انتخابات پیش روی ریاست جمهوری و پارلمان که قرار است ۳ روز دیگر برگزار شود، گروه ناظران  سازمان “وحدت آفریقا” به تعداد ۶۰ نفر و به سرپرستی رئیس جمهور سابق نیجریه، “اولوسگون او باسانیو” به هراره پایتخت کشور آمده اند. ولی مانند بار قبل، حضور آنها هیچ تضمینی برای روند سالم انتخابات و انتقال احتمالی قدرت نخواهد بود. ولی بنظر من تصور اینکه جناح مورگان چانگرای به آسانی دور قبل مصادره کامل  نتیجه انتخابات از سوی موگابه را بپذیرد نیز چندان بدیهی نمی نماید. چانگرای طی ۴ سال نخست وزیری خود( هرچند مسلوب الاختیارولی با این حال)، فرصت داشته است تا به نیروهای اجتماعی حامی خود آرایشی مقاومت آمیز بدهد. اوضاع منطقه و جهان هم ظرف این ۴ سال تغیرات بسیاری کرده است که بسود موگابه عمل نمیکند.

سقوط این دیکتاتور جان سخت میتواند سراغاز موجی از تغیرات جدید در قاره سیاه باشد و شاید هم  سرآغاز بهار افریقا.  این انتظار زیادی نیست ولی دلیلی هم برای عدم رخداد آن نیست.

پایان یداداشت

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Robert Mugabe, 89, may win Zimbabwe vote, fairly or not

After 33 years in power in the southern African republic of Zimbabwe, Mugabe prepares to extend his rule — by hook or by crook

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JEKESAI NJIKIZANA / AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s Prime minister and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), holds a baby during an election campaign rally ahead of his country’s July 31 election.

By:  Feature Writer, Published on Fri Jul 26 2013
EXPLORE THIS STORY

He’s 89 years old, he may well be suffering from prostate cancer, and what he probably most needs now is a good, long rest.

But Robert Gabriel Mugabe is stalking the campaign trail once more, with his fussy diction, his wobbly gait, and his Grecian Formula hair.

(Just think: he’s in his 90th year — and still not a hint of grey.)

Not only that, Mugabe is also the odds-on favourite to prevail in presidential and parliamentary elections set for July 31, thereby extending his 33-year run as leader of the star-crossed southern African republic of Zimbabwe — by hook or by crook.

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  • Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, left, and his wife Grace wave to party supporters on his arrival to launch his ruling ZANU PF party's election manifesto in the capital Harare July 5, 2013.zoom

Unfortunately, the vote is expected to be so chaotic and possibly fraudulent that the official result will be difficult to credit.

Not that it matters to the president.

Mugabe and his venerable political vehicle, known as Zanu-PF, do not actually need to win in order to claim victory.

The betting among the experts is that the results will stand only if they favour Mugabe. If they don’t, he’ll declare himself the winner, anyway.

That’s what happened in 2008, the last time Zimbabweans trooped to the polls, braving a torrent of violence loosed by the regime that left more than 200 people dead. It’s widely believed that Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, triumphed in the first round of voting that year — to no avail.

  • Zimbabweans Hope for Free, Fair and Peaceful ElectionZimbabweans Hope for Free, Fair and Peaceful Election

The count was halted, and Mugabe carried on in his self-appointed role as Zimbabwe’s president for life.

It could happen again.

“Will Zanu-PF surrender power?” asks John Campbell, an Africa expert at the New-York-based Council on Foreign Affairs. “I would say, ‘Not on your life.’”

Some might ask how much it matters.

After all, Zimbabwe nowadays is just a poor, landlocked kleptocracy perched in the hinterland of southern Africa, a place not many outsiders visit anymore and that no longer figures prominently in the news or the investment calculations of foreign businesspeople.

It wasn’t always so.

First as a white-ruled pariah territory called Rhodesia and later as a charter member of the club of front-line African states that resisted apartheid in South Africa, the country now known as Zimbabwe has long served as a sort of crucible for many of this planet’s most troubling political and racial challenges.

Mugabe enjoyed a degree of international stature from 1980, when he first took power, until the mid-1990s.

Zimbabwe, in the early days of Mugabe’s rule, was a mostly green and gorgeous land, where poinsettia and bougainvillea blossomed even in the cool highland winter and where blacks and whites seemed to get along peacefully, even in the wake of an internal bush war that had raged between them during the 1970s.

In those post-liberation days, Zimbabwe seemed like the fulfilment of Africa’s promise — a relatively prosperous place, blessed with radiant days, decent rain, plenty of Virginia tobacco and other cash crops and ruled by a man regarded by some as a visionary leader.

If Mugabe had quit while he was ahead, he might now be regarded with something approaching the reverence accorded South Africa’s Nelson Mandela.

But he didn’t and he ain’t.

“Mugabe is kind of a caricature of an African dictator,” says Rita Abrahamsen of the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Ottawa. “He has been pretty ruthless.”

Mugabe’s penchant for brutal conduct should have been apparent from the early days of his rule, when he dispatched the notorious Fifth Brigade of the Zimbabwean army into the western lowlands of the country, to quell an uprising by several hundred armed militants.

Known as the Gukurahundi, the operation lasted several years and delivered wholesale terror to a region of Zimbabwe inhabited mainly by Ndebele people, members of the smaller of Zimbabwe’s two main ethnic groups.

Mugabe belongs to the dominant Shona tribe.

Upwards of 20,000 people died in a campaign of violence that lasted until 1984.

That was politics, Mugabe-style. His economic record has been no subtler.

In the 1990s, the former schoolteacher began expropriating white-owned farmland, often by force. That policy may well have had a just foundation — a small compact of white-skinned commercial farmers had long controlled the country’s best land, while a vastly larger population of blacks had nothing — but the result was riddled with corruption, cronyism, and gangland-style tactics.

The country descended into what seemed to be a spiral of hyperinflation, political repression and mortal fear, culminating in the presidential vote of 2008, a vote Mugabe almost certainly lost, at least on paper.

Yet he continued to rule, albeit with some concessions. Under mounting pressure from neighbouring leaders, Mugabe entered into a coalition with the MDC that saw Tsvangirai, now 61, take on the title of prime minister, while the opposition also assumed responsibility for the country’s finances — with no little success.

The country now uses the U.S. dollar as its official currency, a measure that has helped stabilize the dizzying inflation of recent years. Many Zimbabweans remain poor, but they are no longer starving.

“The country is definitely better off,” says Abrahamsen. “The opposition can claim much of the credit for the recovery. Paradoxically, it doesn’t help them much.”

Caught unawares by Mugabe’s snap election call late last month, the MDC is ill-prepared for the campaign now underway. It’s entirely possible the octogenarian president will win the vote with little need for intimidation tactics or electoral skulduggery.

“One of the issues that is difficult for some people to accept is that Mugabe remains extremely popular in Zimbabwe,” says Campbell.

Or he does in many rural areas, where he is still regarded as a national hero, the champion of black liberation who bested the country’s once dominant white-skinned elite, now reduced to a disempowered rump of perhaps 30,000 souls.

Five years after the country’s last presidential vote, Mugabe still holds all the power that really matters, including the declared support of both the police and the army. No one realistically expects this to change once Zimbabwe’s long-suffering voters have cast their ballots yet again.

“I’m quite gloomy,” says Campbell. “It seems to me the election will be a farce.”

By all accounts, the electoral machinery is a mess, outdated and probably gerrymandered to boot.

Sixty-three of Zimbabwe’s 210 parliamentary constituencies appear to contain more registered voters than there are inhabitants, as measured by the most recent census. Most of these ridings are in rural areas, where Mugabe’s support is keenest.

Huge numbers of young voters — a disaffected generation widely opposed to Mugabe — have been left off the registry.

One electoral watchdog estimates that roughly a million of the roughly 6 million registered voters are likely deceased or no longer living in Zimbabwe.

There’s more.

An advance poll conducted earlier this month for the benefit of police and soldiers — who will be on duty on election day — disintegrated into a shambles, with thousands denied their right to vote owing to shortages of ballot papers.

Tvsangirai, the MDC leader, says he is participating in the campaign “with a heavy heart.”

That is not surprising. What is more confounding is that he is participating at all. Perhaps he felt he had no choice.

“It would have been difficult for him to boycott the election,” says Abrahamsen. “He is the prime minister, after all.”

The best that can be said of the contest so far is that there has been little of the violence against opposition supporters that bloodied the run-up to elections five years ago. But some worry that disturbances may break out should Mugabe win in what seem to be suspicious circumstances.

“It’s not known if that will lead to widespread violence,” says Campbell.

One way or another, Mugabe seems destined to prolong his presidency yet again, while cementing his status as the dean of Africa’s post-colonial leaders. Love him or hate him, you can’t deny the tenacity or the wiles that have kept him in power so long.

“He’s had the required brutality, but he can read his country,” says Abrahamsen. “One has to admire him even as one doesn’t approve of him.”

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