Could Mugabe Actually Lose?

Either Zanu-PF is running a fantastic prank, to be revealed when the final "votes" come in... or it can't even rig an election anymore.

President Robert Mugabe's party has lost its majority in parliament, the Zimbabwe Election Commission says.

It says Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF party has taken 94 of the 207 contested seats, while opposition parties have won 105. One seat has gone to an independent.

Results are coming in here, and surprisingly, the opposition's unofficial count is matching up with the official count. Matthew Weaver has been blogging the news at the Guardian, and international opinion is already turning to likely successor Morgan Tsvangirai, a union leader who's gotten very far without being specific on policy. But the South African papers aren't counting chickens yet. They're covering the mediation efforts by their county and by Tanzania.

With the opposition having already proclaimed victory in the weekend polls, his options are limited and all sides want to dissaude him from ordering troops onto the streets.

Key to any solution is finding a way to reassure Mugabe that he will not be hung to dry over accusations of human rights violations and several sources said Mugabe may be given some kind of honourary role.

If he ends up like Ian Smith, I don't know who that would satisfy. But he's 84: I'm not worried about the threat he'd be out of power, without the state doing his thuggery for him.

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  • Episiarch||

    I suppose it's possible he's old enough that the struggle to retain power is just too much. 84 is getting up there.

  • ||

    The old man lost his marbles. My Zimbabwean neighbors say it happened when his wife died. Then again, my old boss said, "No, we knew he was crazy."

    Either way, that term-limits amendment for presidents is looking pretty good right about now.

  • ||

    84 is getting up there.

    If only we could get him up to about, say, 7 feet, suspended by the neck with nothing to stand on.

  • ||

    South African papers aren't counting chickens yet...



    This is critical. The Chicken Block in Zimbabwe could swing this either way...

  • ||

    He's just negotiating his exit-package -- I hear that he wants $1MM Zimbabwe...

  • Taktix®||

    South African papers aren't counting chickens yet...



    This is critical. The Chicken Block in Zimbabwe could swing this either way...


    That is probably the funniest thing I've seen all week.

  • ed||

    But what about the Super Chickens?

  • ||

    He's just negotiating his exit-package -- I hear that he wants $1MM Zimbabwe...



    The problem is, there's shortages of everything in Zimbabwe. With inflation so bad, there are no zeroes left in Zimbabwe to print on the currency to make it worth something.

    Mathematicians in Cambridge are working on a generating function to produce more zeroes for the Zimbabwean market so Mugabe can be bought off. Export controls have to be dropped though, so that the British function can be operated on Zimbabwean territory.

  • ||

    Congratulations to Mugabe, for doing what many thought impossible: making Ian Smith look like a prescient and wise elder statesman.

  • Scooby||

    I hear that he wants $1MM Zimbabwe...

    Is that enough to buy even a 6 pack of cheap beer?

  • ||

    Key to any solution is finding a way to reassure Mugabe that he will not be hung to dry

    Fixed that for you.


    One thing missed here: The people of Zimbabwe should be congratulated for their courage in voting against Mugabe.

  • ||

    Either Zanu-PF is running a fantastic prank, to be revealed when the final "votes" come in... or it can't even rig an election anymore.

    My understanding is that Mugabe made a massive mistake by one of the methods he used to try and intimidate voters. Precincts that didn't vote for him would not get food aid, and one of the things they did was have the precinct results posted at the precinct after the polls closed. This massively backfired because the MDC (and African election observors) was able to visit most of the precincts in the country and record the results for the vast majority of precincts. This left Zanu-PF with much less leeway in committing voter fraud.

  • B||

    I wonder how long it will be until certain assholes on this site, namely joe, will claim he wasn't a dictator because he left after this election?

  • ||

    Interesting, MikeMagnum.

    B, not so much.

  • nobody special||

    Then again, my old boss said, "No, we knew he was crazy."

    Was your old boss from Zimbabwe as well as your neighbors?

  • ||

    Maybe this is like the Sandinistas where they believed their own propaganda so much that they thought they could win a free election?

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