Did “The Crocodile,” Zimbabwe’s president and former national intelligence chief Emmerson Mnangagwa, steal the 2018 election? While no can say for sure outside of those party loyalists on the Election Commission appointed by President Mnangagwa, it sure looks that way.
To start with, Zimbabwe has been in a bad way economically with unemployment and inflation sky high while a critical shortage of foreign currency has plagued businesses large and small. The voter turnout in this latest election was huge, the largest in Zimbabwe’s history with especially large numbers of young, mainly unemployed youth voting for the first time.
When times are hard and there is a huge turnout, including a big proportion of the youth, it usually means people are looking for a change in leadership, not another old school regime strongman being returned for another round of the same old same old. Yet, it turned out that the establishment headed by the former head of national intelligence, aka “The Crocodile,” so named for snatching his victims never to be seen again, was the majority recipient of these votes?
Mnangagwa had to win, if he didn’t he and all of his partners in crime would go to prison and lose all of their ill gotten gains. Sort of like Erdogan in Turkey, steal the election or get locked up, you do what it takes and count on the international godfathers to look the other way, like they did when you staged your coup d’état against your former mentor, President Mugabe last year.
When protestors took to the streets, “The Crocodile” quickly unleashed the iron fist and give them a taste of real facism by shooting them down in the streets. And when the opposition leadership, for years on the CIA’s payroll, calls a press conference, lock them up and deny them bail, lets get this game over with as little fuss as possible.
Remember now, you are dealing with “The Crocodile” who oversaw the mass murder of tens of thousands of his Ndebele ethnic rivals for power back after independence in 1980. If “The Crocodile” loses the election all those mass graves may be put on display during his show trial, who knows maybe even by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.
So far the godfathers in the west and east are content to see business as usual in Zimbabwe, especially now that “The Crocodile” is even talking about reimbursing the apartheid era farmers for the property that was taken from them, property that they stole fair and square from Zimbabwe’s people over a century ago. Pay racist settlers for the property they stole in the first place? This must be the price you pay when you’ve sold your soul to the IMF and have only been saved from immediate collapse by Chinese largess.
This is yet another blow to Zimbabwe’s long suffering people’s desire for progress in their lives. With so many youth going to the polls and putting their faith in an election it will inevitably lead to more radicalization and discontent, lighting the fuse in what could one day turn out to be a real revolution and an end to independence. fighters turned to crocodiles, snatching away the peoples yearning for change.
Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist in Eritrea living and reporting from there since 2006. See thomascmountain on Facebook, thomascmountain on Twitter or reach him at thomascmountain at gmail dot com.