Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Destroyer - Robert Mugabe and the destruction of Zimbabwe

Thanks to Jim for posting a link to this article in the comments section on the previous Zimbabwe-related item. If you have the time, it's well worth the read:

The Destroyer - Robert Mugabe and the destruction of Zimbabwe

by Jon Lee Anderson
October 27, 2008

"Nine hundred years ago, at a site on a high plateau north of the Limpopo River called Great Zimbabwe, Shona kings built stone palaces where they lived in splendid isolation from their subjects, with absolute authority over their means to sustain life—cattle herds, land, and the gold that came out of the earth. In the nineteen-sixties, members of a liberation movement in what was then Rhodesia, among them Robert Mugabe, adopted Great Zimbabwe’s name to refer to the notional state they were fighting for. Today, Mugabe can be said to be the owner of the riches that remain in the nation of Zimbabwe. After twenty-eight years, he remains in power––Zimbabwe’s only President since the end of whiteminority rule, in 1980. His nephew Leo, therefore, leads a cushioned life. He is an entrepreneur and has stakes in several companies, among them a mobile-phone network. He is a director of Zimbabwe Defense Industries, which purchases the weaponry for his uncle’s Army—most of it, these days, from China. He also controls at least one large farm that had been seized from its white owners. In the nineties, Leo earned notoriety for his alleged role in securing kickbacks, on behalf of his uncle and other officials, in the construction of Harare International Airport. In 2005, he was arrested for the contraband export and sale of government-owned food, but the charges were withdrawn for lack of evidence. (Leo said the allegations in both cases were unfounded.) That year, he was a candidate for Parliament for the Zimbabwe African National UnionPatriotic Front, known as ZANU-P.F., the ruling party. He won in a landslide..." More

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