Zimbabwe on the verge

From The Guardian. Read the rest here:

Yesterday, for the second time in a week, some Zimbabwean soldiers attacked money-changers in Harare after they were unable to withdraw their wages from cash-strapped banks.  Clashes between the unarmed soldiers and police wielding guns and teargas ensued. The police are said to have been slow to intervene.

This is an indication of deep unrest within the army, which has for long been the foundation of Robert Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s rule. The ordinary rank and file of the army did not take part in the liberation war. They do not share the allegiance to Mugabe and Zanu-PF that is a hallmark of senior army officials with liberation-war experience.

These men have vowed that they will not serve an MDC-led government because the opposition party did not participate in the liberation struggle. The rank and file has also been excluded from the hefty perks doled out by Mugabe to army generals and the extraordinary self-aggrandisement indulged in by the top brass.

Zimbabwe is becoming increasingly lawless. Last month Zanu-PF deployed armed security personnel in Zimbabwe’s Chiadzwa diamond fields in Marange to quell gun battles between illegal diamond panners and the police. The army continues to commit horrendous human rights abuses in Marange.

In addition, the cholera outbreak currently sweeping the country and mounting starvation are fuelling anger and desperation that may ignite into uncontainable violence against the Zanu-PF government. While all these grim developments seem to herald the endgame for Mugabe’s rule, they also signal something far more certain than Mugabe’s departure – the fact that Zimbabwe is now on the verge of complete failure.


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