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Mugabe should go now

SO now it’s (semi-) official: President Robert Mugabe resigns in December and presidential and parliamentary elections are held in Zimbabwe in March 2004 (Independent, July 11).



ca, sans-serif”>There are a few points which must be addressed:


The time-scale means that the main agricultural season 2003/2004 will be yet another write-off. In addition to existing factors such as hyperinflation and shortages of forex, fuel and bank notes, that will mean another fall in GNP by 10% between now and 2004/03.


Who will reimburse the people of Zimbabwe for that loss? Which dignitaries will link their incomes to the GNP of Zimbabwe and take the hit with us?

Who will reopen offices and factories closed between now and 2004/03?

Who will compensate those made jobless?


Mugabe is not a man who keeps his word – there is a good chance that he will renege on any commitment. And because of this, business confidence will not restart until after he leaves power (and possibly leaves the country) and maybe until after the election is over. Any foreigners who pump in private or public money before then are taking a very large risk.


Zanu PF (even without its dictator) now has degrees in election rigging.

Even if the economy and the people can stagger through till May 2004, who knows whether the party which has presided over four years of 10% of per annum negative growth will not fix the result in its favour?


The solution?


If Mugabe is leaving power, then let him do so now. Hold elections in three months after his departure, if not earlier. Let the UN run the entire election process. Try to salvage something of this coming growing season – by farmers of whatever colour – for the benefit of the economy and the

struggling masses.


Alex Weir,

Harare.

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