Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Is Mugabe ceding some power?

It appears there may be a deal in place in the African nation of Zimbabwe, in which Robert Mugabe will cede some power to his long-time electoral rival, Morgan Tsvangirai.

We talked about what was happening in Zimbabwe at some length last spring. This is encouraging. Many details remain to be worked out. Will Mugabe live up to the deal, or will he crank up the oppresssion again once the international heat is off? Right now, Tsvangirai is slated to run a good part of the government as a kind of prime minister. Only will time will tell if this comes off.

How did this agreement come about? Note this:

"There was still an undercurrent of fear that that the repression could yet return with a vengeance, and some people were afraid to be quoted by name. The crowd also repeatedly cheered the presence of Botswana’s president, Seretse Khama Ian Khama, clapping and chanting, “Khama, Khama, Khama.” He has been Mr. Mugabe’s harshest critic in the region, refusing to recognize the legitimacy of his election."

Perhaps it partly came about because in fact there WERE those in Africa who stood up to Mugabe. Three cheers for Mr. Khama of Botswana.