Zero in on Zimbabwe

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The situation in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate; now the US has just expanded its sanctions against the country. Former Africa Bureau Chief for Newsweek Joshua Hammer gives us the latest news from Zimbabwe, and explains why he calls South African President Mbeki "Mugabe's chief protector." His article for The New York Review of Books is "Scandal in Africa."


Joshua Hammer

Comments [7]

Jennifer Hickey from Queens, New York

What no one seems to have touched on is that Mugabe and Mbeki were both western educated unlike Tsvangirai. So how much of this divide reflects the class system of these former British colonies.

Jul. 30 2008 12:47 PM
gabby from new york

A friend's father's lump sum pension after 20 something years of work was enough to buy a gallon of milk and a few sticks of butter.

Jul. 30 2008 12:37 PM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

Leonard - please ask him why he thinks nobody's tried to assasinate Mugabe ... it seems like the people are that desperate.

Jul. 30 2008 12:32 PM
andy z. from hastings-on-hudson

Much of what Mr. Hammer is saying is true. But he blew the answer to the question about continued support for Mugabe by blaming it on tribal loyalty. If you know that eighty percent of the country belongs to Mugabe's Shona tribe, this idea seems silly.

Yes, there are still Mugabe supporters in Zimbabwe - who are these gangs of kids who go around beating and killing MDC supporters? You will have to dig deeper to find the answer.

Jul. 30 2008 12:31 PM
AWM from UWS

I'm no fan of Mugabe but this sounds like more of the same old paternalistic stuff that is the foundation of western reporting on Africa.

The US and Europe in particular wouldn't care at all about what Mugabe did if he didn't kick the white people out.

Jul. 30 2008 12:28 PM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

Ask him about Gukurahundi... that showed Mugabe's true colors right from the start.

Jul. 30 2008 12:18 PM
RC from Queens

I understand that Mugabe is a despot. But how is he any different than any of the other despots that America supports? Such as Teodoro Obiang of Equatorial Guinea, Mubarak in Egypt, some of the ex soviet republics etc. Didn't we grant MFN status to China after they slaughtered those students in Tianamen Square?

What I am trying to understand is why am I being made to care about Zimbabwe and the Sudan when it seems that there are a lot of atrocities committed by ruthless people running different countries?

Shouldn't we have a comprehensive human rights policy that sets standards of conduct for regimes that we decide to support? It seems rather selective that we pick and choose who the bad guys are.

Jul. 30 2008 11:51 AM

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