Every Despot has their day, and today seems to be Robert Mugabe’s day. The military has taken control in Zimbabwe and says it’s taken custody of President Mugabe, and his wife who he recently named as VP. The despotic Mugabe has in power since 1980.
The Military has emphasized that it did not stage a military takeover, instead, they were starting a process to restore Zimbabwe’s democracy. Apparently, the straw that broke the despot’s back was when Mugabe fired his Vice President and made his wife the country’s number two. Grace Mugabe has earned the public’s scorn with her lavish and very public spending, on real estate, diamonds, and other luxury items.
Mugabe’s savage rule over Zimbabwe was dominated by murder, bloodshed, torture, persecution of political opponents, intimidation, and vote-rigging on a grand scale, but few recall that it was American President Jimmy Carter who put him in office.
“If yesterday I fought as an enemy, today you have become a friend. If yesterday you hated me, today you cannot avoid the love that binds you to me, and me to you.”
With those words, Robert Mugabe sought to reassure white and black alike on the eve of his swearing-in as prime minister of the newly independent and internationally recognized state of Zimbabwe 37 years ago. The new nation replaced Rhodesia a former colony of Great Britain whose independence was never recognized because the country was unfairly ruled by a white minority.
In 1978 Ian Smith, the prime minister of white-ruled Rhodesia reached an agreement with black moderate leaders for a transition government. Under this plan, termed the “internal settlement,” whites, who represented about 4% of the population, would be reserved 28 out of 100 parliamentary seats as well as control over certain government ministries. Still grossly unfair but certainly a strong movement toward change.
In April of 1979, the first fully democratic election in Zimbabwe history’s occurred. Of the eligible black voters, 64% participated, braving the threat of terrorist attacks by Mr. Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party, which managed to kill 10 people. Prior to the election, Mr. Mugabe had issued a death list with 50 individuals he named as “traitors, fellow-travelers, and puppets of the Ian Smith regime, opportunistic running-dogs and other capitalist vultures.”Nevertheless, Bishop Abel Muzorewa of the United Methodist Church emerged victorious and became prime minister of Zimbabwe-Rhodesia, as the new country was called.
But Jimmy Carter didn’t like Bishop Muzorewa and because Mugabe’s party was not included in the election (he preferred to continue fighting against the government) the peanut POTUS refused to recognize the new government.
[Jimmy Carter’s UN Ambassador Andrew] Mr.Young referred to Mr. Muzorewa, one of the very few democratically elected leaders on the African continent, as the head of a “neo-fascist” government. Mr. Carter refused to meet Mr. Muzorewa when the newly elected leader visited Washington to seek support from our country, nor did he lift sanctions that America had placed on Rhodesia as punishment for the colony’s unilateral declaration of independence from the British Empire in 1965.