Zimbabwe

Mugabe Starts Sending Signals He May Cling to Power

Even if he loses the upcoming election

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In a somewhat chilling development for Zimbabwe and its people, leader Robert Mugabe is beginning to send mixed signals about whether he will tolerate the outcome of the elections he himself picked to be held July 31.

Mr. Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe with an iron fist for the past 33 years, has begun to speak openly, as he did Thursday at a political rally, about Zimbabwe needing only "one party."

At Mugabe's rally on July 23 in the city of Mutare, about 150 miles southeast of the capital Harare, he ridiculed his main opponent, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in terms that set off fears that Mugabe will not hand over power even if he loses the elections. The polls are now favoring Mr. Tsvangirai, a former trade union leader who now sits in an unequal "coalition" government with the long time ruler. Mugabe is now 89.