There are still too many odious tyrants in the world, and not all of them started off as dictators – some, like Vladimir Putin, Hugo Chavez, and Robert Mugabe, started off as elected politicians and gradually strangled democracy and liberty in their countries. Of those, Mugabe is the furthest down the path, and the natural endpoint of his race-baiting and populist left-wing economics is now in view, as a catastrophic cholera epidemic has Mugabe appealing for international assistance even from his nemesis (Great Britain); like so many of Africa’s disasters, the epidemic is the work of bad government, the direct result of Mugabe’s efforts to stamp out the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party:
The cholera epidemic has been caused by the collapse of the country’s water and sewage systems since the ruling Zanu (PF) party removed control of those services from cities with MDC mayors three years ago and set up the inept Zimbabwe National Water Authority.
This atrocity has even left-leaning African leaders calling for Mugabe’s ouster:
Yesterday, in unusually robust words for an African leader, Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga called on African governments to work together to topple Mr Mugabe. “Power sharing is dead in Zimbabwe and will not work with a dictator who does not really believe in power sharing,” said Mr Odinga, referring to the negotiations on forming a unity government with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) that Mr Mugabe has strung out for nearly three months. “It’s time for African governments to take decisive action to push him out of power.”
Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa expressed similar sentiments, openly calling for Mr Mugabe’s removal. “If they say to him ‘step down’, and he refuses, they must do so militarily,” he said.
That would be Nobel Peace Prize winner Archbishop Tutu calling for military force to remove Mugabe, if you’re keeping score at home. Mugabe won’t go quickly, and his end has been predicted before as his campaign against white farmers throttled his country’s once-successful agricultural yield. But with the likes of Odinga and Archbishop Tutu ready to call for his head, he may finally be approaching the end of the line.