Globe, World

The Zimbabwe crisis under debate

The struggle for power arose after the controversial 2008 presidential election plunged the African country into political crisis, adding to the dramatic economic and social problems that had already been dragging it down for a number of years.

The Zimbabwean leader Robert Mugabe lost the presidency of the country in 2008 after fulfilling the role of Prime Minister since 1980 and Head of State since 1987. On the 11th February 2009, following controversial elections, the leader of the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, took up the position of Prime Minister after negotiating to construct a unified government.

Mugabe, leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), denied that these elections had been rigged, and after the agreement to form a new government was reached by Morgan Tsvangirai and the other political leaders, a period of violence and riots began in Zimbabwe and has still not reached a conclusion.

Robert Mugabe, who is still acting as Head of State, is currently pressing for new elections to be held this August, despite the leader of the MDC, Morgan Tsvangirai, declaring that they cannot be carried out without enforcing the necessary reforms and reviewing the Constitution.

While Mugabe’s party plans to hold these elections in August, most experts are sure that, if they take place, they will lead to a fresh rise in the violence between supporters of the rival factions.

On the other hand, some consider this to be the right solution and a way out of the crisis in which the country currently find itself. Against this backdrop, the Frontline Club will hold a debate on the 23rd February at its London headquarters, which will be attended by Chofamba Innocent Sithole, journalist and a leader of the Zimbabwean community, and Blessing-Miles Tendi, author of the book “Making History in Mugabe’s Zimbabwe: Politics, Intellectuals and the Media”.

Date and location: 23rd February, 7pm – Frontline Club, 13 Norfolk Place, London W2 1QJ.

(Translated by Sophie Roper- Email: scroper@hotmail.co.uk)

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