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The dawn of a new era of hope for desperate Zimbabweans

The reaching of an agreement between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai is a momentous occasion. After months of the egos and selfishness of these two leaders’ overwhelming reason and deep concern for the people of Zimbabwe, the people of Zimbabwe can now finally sigh in relief as there appears to be hope on the horizon.

Zimbabweans have endured protracted suffering and tyranny under Robert Mugabe’s repressive regime and they deserve reprieve from their economic misery. While they remain clueless as to what the agreement holds for them, they can have confidence in the belief that nothing can be worse than it presently is, and their situation can only get better.

Only on Monday, September 15 2008, when the clock strikes ten, will they know what their “messiah” had agreed to and what miracles he promises within the constraints of a country in ruins and the charitable benevolence of foreign sympathisers.

As concerned neighbours of the desperate people of Zimbabwe, we do hope that the agreement reached signals a lasting political solution. Morgan Tsvangirai has in the past displayed character not fitting of a head of state and responded in a childish manner. I hope that during these periods of tough negotiations, he had matured into a leader capable of carrying on his shoulders the hopes of millions of people who have long suffered under tyranny and looking for inspiring and decisive leadership.

The people of Zimbabwe have been spared from remorseless tragedy and we commend both parties for allowing reason to prevail; for allowing interests of Zimbabweans to take precedence before their own self-interests; for stopping to fiddle while their country burned. Most importantly we must commend President Mbeki for helping the people of Zimbabwe find a solution from their political quagmire.



  1. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 12 September 2008

    If Morgan has signed a deal where Mugabe still controls the army he is doomed to go the same way as Nkomo; and the same way as De Klerk and Buthelezi in Mandela’s unity cabinet.

    Why is it impossible for Africa to accept that democracy means an opposition?

  2. Rod MacKenzie Rod MacKenzie 12 September 2008

    Your comments are truisms – we know them all already. So why bother telling us? And Mbeki, in this situation, did not do much at all, don’t glorify him. A more interesting article for you to perhaps write in the invidiousness of Mbeki’s situation as he is “expected ” by the world to do something about Zimbabwe, a grave issue for which Mbeki is not responsible.

  3. James Tobias James Tobias 12 September 2008

    A bit premature for flag waving,jubilation and self-congratulation.

    Certainly a step in the right direction, let’s wait and see how big a step.

  4. Zum Zum Zum Zum Zum Zum 12 September 2008

    “Morgan Tsvangirai has in the past displayed character not fitting of a head of statecharacter not fitting of a head of state and responded in a childish manner.—Your bum chum Mbeki, not only wanted Tsvangirai to hang himself, but supply the rope too!!! Tell me what in your definition is the “character of a head of state”? How would you characterise Mugabe?

  5. Mark Branson Mark Branson 12 September 2008

    Your comment regarding Tsvangirai is off the mark. This is a man who has been arrested many times, beaten to a pulp and terrorised by Mad Bob – and YOU dare accuse him of acting “childish” and “selfish”?

    In your face moron. This is a man that has stood alone while SA’s leaders and the world ignored him and the people of Zim.

    You have no right to pass judgement on the man. By the way, I am a white South African and hugely impressed with Tsvangirai and deeply, deeply ashamed of our so-called liberation ‘leaders’.

    Shame on you and shame on the ANC and Mbeki in particular!!

  6. CG CG 12 September 2008

    The tragedy here is that there had to be some ridiculous power sharing deal in the first when it was clear to anyone that the MDC had won the parliamentary elections and only lost the presidential elections thanks to the ZEC/ZANU PF making sure that the votes were ‘correctly’ counted the second time around.

    The only deal Mbeki should have been negotiating was an exit deal for Bob and his sycophantic cronies in the armed forces.

    The only reason that Bob is agreeing to this deal is to get his blood spattered hands on some more of those lovely foreign aid dollars so he can skim a few million off the top to pay off the army so they don’t hang him from the nearest lamp post when their salaries stop being paid.

  7. ntambireni ntambireni 12 September 2008

    you are just looking for points from the M&G man. In what way has Tsvangirai behaved in a childish manner? Your depth of political negotiations is, to put it mildly, very shallow. How would you characterise Mugabe’s behaviour – is he the kind of statesman you aspire to?

  8. owen owen 12 September 2008

    You obviosly like the idea of tyrants (Bob) over democrates (Morgan). You have no idea have you. You should go and live under Bob’s rule and then we will see how quickly you either get your hands full of blood or you become an MDC supporter.

    But just wait JZ will teach you about deamoncracy.

  9. Paul Whelan Paul Whelan 12 September 2008

    ‘Why is it impossible for Africa to accept that democracy means an opposition?’

    ‘Africa’ has not in the main achieved ‘democracy’ yet and therefore cannot act as if it has.

    The idea that opposition is legitimate, leading to the possibility of peaceful change, is at the heart of democracy. That idea simply had no place in Mugabe’s undemocratic Zim.

    The question is rather whether one believes the Zim crisis should be seen as helping or hindering progress towards democracy in Africa.

  10. Xolani Xolani 12 September 2008

    I think that it is most disturbing that only after 7 years and a few months counting that a political agreement has been reached in Zimbabwe.

    On the point that Morgan has been behaving like a Madonna I would not agree. As the March elections are the ones which openly and democratically represented the will of the Zimbabwean people.

    It was therefore not strange for Morgan to fight for prominence which the people of Zimbabwe willingly, unforcibly and democratically gave to him. His resistance to Mugabe cannot possibly be seen as arrogance it is rather firmness and full understanding of accountability in a democratic dispensation.

    Moving forward, Zimbabwe has to now focus on reviving and building up the economy. I do not agree with economists recommending that Zim go back to bartering. However they should look at attracting investments within and from other parts of Africa and the world.

    Education. Health, PUBLIC TRANSPORT, law and order, Macro economic policy etc Have to be looked into thoroughly as well. Thirdly the land issue, I think that Morgan is correct by saying that people should be compensated for land.

    This govt has to now look at how they will attract Zim skills in other parts of the world and how exactly they will linger to these employees in-terms of attractive salary packages and so forth.

    Most importantly the parties in govt –Morgan, Mugabe and Mutambara- now have to build a govt of integrity, impartiality and representative to the needs of Zimbabweans.

  11. Lisa Lisa 12 September 2008

    “It can’t get worse” does not equal to “it has to get better”.
    With Mad Bob still around, I have my doubts.

  12. Ray Miller Ray Miller 12 September 2008

    Rather premature, a deal is not a deal until it is signed. If Morgan has wilted under pressure from Mbeki and Bob is still in power then only God can help the people of Zim. Wait until Monday and if Bob has at last realised nobody wants him and he has been consigned to Siberia then we can all rejoice for the people of Zim.

  13. Lebo Lebo 12 September 2008

    If this was true and genuine the two would have addressed the media or their nation side by side by now! This is kind of thing you celebrate not keep under wraps.

    For those who keep comparing the situation north of our border to CODESA, I would remind them that this situation is closer in resemblence to the Kenyan situation than CODESA. And yet it took Kofi Annan less than two months to get the power sharing deal which he himself admitted it was not exactly what that nation wanted.

  14. Bonginkosi Bonginkosi 12 September 2008

    We should wait for Monday, methinks. This deal has been celebrated and uncelebrated for far too long.

  15. alisdair budd alisdair budd 12 September 2008

    Far be it from me to point out that the deal has been kept secret from the Zimbabwean people, in order for them to stop finding out what Mbeki is up to with their country, but the deals leaks so far are not good. (Its’ still being kept secret from the Zimbabwean people who will HAVE NO CONSULTATION BEFORE IT IS SIGNED DUE TO MBEKI KEEPING IT SECRET FROM THEM.)

    According to the leaks on it is a crock of sh*t and is a mish mash of mixed responsibilities which will need a miracle to work.

    The MDC is in charge of security (the people who swore never to salute him) and Mugabe is head of govt for another five years.

    So every Zimbabwean I have so far talked to wont buy it or cooperate with it.

    Look forward to the idea of the MDC sending in the Army to put down rioters when the War Veterans refuse to obey an MDC minister and see what happens? Civil war five years ago would probably have killed less people.


    If you’re not too busy trying to praise Mbeki for a desperate last gasp of absolute legalese and a total administrative mess, just to keep Mugabe as “President for Life”, would you like to notice that all Zimbabweans who have actually found out what Mbeki is up to with their country, and actually know what it is the poiticians have agreed to, disagree with it, violently.

    Please inform his excellency that if any of my Black Zimbabwean realtives ever find him on Zim soil without his security, he will not make it back to SA.

    And tell the idiont above about “being spared” that if he managed to get his head out of his beer bottle for long enough, he would have noticed that 5 Million Zims are still starving to death and according to reports are still being denied food aid by War veterans, police and CIO.

    Let’s all celebrate that then, shall we?

  16. Siphiwo Qangani with kangaroos Siphiwo Qangani with kangaroos 12 September 2008

    A revolting tyrant still in-charge…hmmm I wonder whether this was the best answer for many Africans.

    Though, I may still HOLD the Pipe Smoking internet-based health Scientist accountable for allowing Mab Bob to torture, steal and kill innocent civilians, and furthermore despite the fact that I still question and criticise his decisions on many issues during his presidency; however at this instant, he has done an immense job for getting those two skirmishing elephants together, and for the good of the nation, let them be agree (at least) with few things.

    We can only wish and hope that such agreement is genuine, and Mad Bob is willing to abide by the conditions. He’s never to be trusted on issues of power in politics.

    Hmmm! It leaves me with no choice, but to (arrogantly) pronounce this…

    Mbeki 1 Mad Bob’s stubbornness 0

    We’re watching this game…suspiciously

  17. Canada Canada 12 September 2008

    Lyndall Beddy said

    “Why is it impossible for Africa to accept that democracy means an opposition”.

    I am not sure which Africa you are referring to, in this country the DA and other oppositions parties continue with their business within the armbits of the Constitution of the Republic.

    Sentletse is spot on White people’s bogey man Thabo Mbeki has assisted Zimbabweans to find solution to Zimbabwean problems.

    Credit should go to Zimbabweans for sorting a mess that was never of Mbeki’s making in the first place.

    Africans should find solutions to their own problems. A lot of white aAfrican pessimists are pissed, not with Mbeki, but the thought of Africans asserting themselves without some divine intervention.

    You seem to be the only one who is oblivious to the interference of the UK and US in Morgan’s political leadership.

    Now he has an opportunity with the belligerent Mugabe to sort out that country, let both of them who in my opinion are the wrong leaders for that country think about the ordinary people and not their stupid egos.

    That country is not a property of any of them, I will hope the other sober MDC faction will rein on both Mugabe and Morgan

  18. Jon Jon 12 September 2008

    The title ought to read “the dawn of a new era of desperation for hopeful Zimbabweans”.

    Thabo’s plan to paper over the cracks WILL end in tears and, in all likelihood, massive bloodshed.

  19. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 12 September 2008


    Mugabe, and his fellow political prisoners, and all their families were supported by the west – so why not Mogan?

    If Mbeki had achieved some settlement in 2001, or 2002, or even 2003 – he could have got some credit. Now he is a sick joke.

    And Judge Nicholson has just taken out Mbeki, and both his Ministers of Justice, and Ncguka, in a brilliant judgement!

  20. XNM XNM 12 September 2008

    Tsvangarai did not win the March elections please let us be honest in our inputs to this blog. He got the majority vote however not enough for him to form a parliament on his own. This immature politician, Tsvangarai also withdrew from the presidential election at the last moment and that is what brought about a crisis as he could not claim to be a head of state without having been voted for. Please people let us be factual and honest when we analyse situations.

    There is another similar situation on the part of SA media. That of claiming Mbeki wanted to run for a third term as the country’s president while knowing very well that he wanted to be ANC president and was grooming other comrades namely Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Joel Netshitendze etc. to take over as president of the Republic.

    That could have avoided a situation wherein there would be two centres of power until Mbeki leaves his position as president of the Republic just before elections. One is inclined to believe that he would have also retired as the president of the ANC when that time comes. The misrepresentation of facts on this issue mainly by the media created a lot of misunderstanding. South Africans must learn to think solidly and decipher matters particularly when they are of national concern.

  21. MFB MFB 12 September 2008

    While this comments section is fairly typically demented(every single white racist loony comes out of the woodwork whenever Zimbabwe is mentioned) nevertheless the comments are right in one important sense, Sentletse.

    A power-sharing deal solves essentially nothing in Zimbabwe. It does not even begin to construct the conditions for improving conditions. At once, a whole national socio-political structure has to be recreated, while somehow a devastated economy has to be rebuilt.

    I don’t believe that it can be done without geniuses in charge, and they would need to have a really strong government and the committed support of the West. There aren’t geniuses in power, the government will be weak and illegitimate, and the West will either denounce everything or will flit off to some other matter serving their interests more directly. (Good luck on collecting that billion-pound British promise, Zimbabweans.)

    Signatures on pieces of paper, even if sincerely meant, solve nothing.

  22. James Tobias James Tobias 12 September 2008

    Bob lost the election but still manages to stay as President.
    Hardly cause for celebration.

    Is there anything in Zuma winning his case and Mbeki declaring a momentous solution in Zim?

    All within 24 hrs.

  23. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 12 September 2008


    Morgan would have won hands down if registration of new voters had been allowed, dead people had not voted, over a million people had not been displaced out of their voting districts, postal votes had been allowed, free press had been allowed etc etc etc.

    The people of Zim have voted for Morgan since 2000 – and Mugabe has been illegally in power for 8 years!


    If I were the Brits I would not give a cent more – until Mugabe hands back the 30% of the farmland that Britain ALREADY paid for before 2000!

  24. XNM XNM 12 September 2008

    Correction and apologies I should have written government instead of parliament

  25. Siphiwo Qangani with kangaroos Siphiwo Qangani with kangaroos 12 September 2008


    […]”Morgan would have won hands down if registration of new voters had been allowed, dead people had not voted, over a million people had not been displaced out of their voting districts, postal votes had been allowed, free press had been allowed etc etc etc.”[…]

    I’ve got to concur with you Madam…Let me just drop or add these items on your shopping basket…Tsvangirai would have won if:

    *that Ever-heated dim-wit Election Commissioner didn’t massage elections,
    *if the basic mathematics (izibalo) of sub B was used in tallying the votes,
    *if the state organs such as Prisons, Defence & Police were allowed to voice their will,
    *if buses and taxis prearranged by MDC for their campaigns were never impounded and drivers beaten like indecent animals,
    *if Tsvangirai was never beaten for holding peaceful marches,
    *if our Pipe Smoking internet based health Scientist did not prop Mad Bob with military training and twisted advices,
    *if ordinary poor civilians were still promised to get aid food, even if they vote otherwise,
    *if the South African (paper) printing firms did not sponsor or print any placards for Mad BoB, when things were too obvious that he only wants to kill and torture whoever stands in his way to the Presidential Office,
    *if the likes of BMW, Benz and China didn’t provide support tools for Mad Bob to advance his worldwide condemned behaviours
    *and so many ifs & ifs….

    Anyway, I’m still delighted that they’ve finally agreed on some thing though I’m bit suspicious…At least, Zims can now, at long last, think of their Coconut Republic as a probable nation.

  26. Belle Belle 12 September 2008

    XNM .. its very likely Tsvangerai DID win the March elections outright: the vote counts that they photographed posted on the doors of voting stations tallied up to 53%. However the official result, announced 4 weeks later, differed.

    Remember that the army was forced to pre-vote for Mugabe. Illegally.

    Also remember, the 63 vote recounts demanded by MDC were never performed, although the 60 recounts demanded by Mugabe were done with no change of result.

    Remember, also, that while it took Mugabe a month to get disputed votes recounted, disputes lodged by the MDC against the 2002 and 2004 election counts have YET to be recounted.

    You must be insane to kid yourself that the vast majority still want Mugabe in government.

  27. Alisdair Budd Alisdair Budd 12 September 2008

    Yes. Let’s be honest XNM.

    The MDC won the Presidential Election with 63%, Mugabe got about 25-7%, Makoni 10%.

    The Generals then stepped in, fired the ZEC, took over the ballot boxes, and spent six weeks padding out the vote using dual papers they had printed, in voting stations in Mashonalnad where the oppostiion had been denied access to by thugs with manchine guns.

    During this time the AU and Africa made themselves look stupid trying to pretend this wasn’t going on, since they are corrupt and will defend anyone who murders Black people, just so long as they are as Black as Idi Amin.

    During the illegal run off mass rape camps were set up, thousands were burnt out of their homeas, abducted and several thousands are still missing.

    The Wives and Children of MDC counsellors and MPs were targetted for rape murder and violence, some being so badly beaten their faces were unrecognisable and there bodies had to be identified by their clothes.

    Mugabe then declared himself winner of a contest where he was the only candidate, where 500,000 votes “appeared” and which was so violent even the AU couldn’t lie believably.

    Mbeki then tried to claim credit for bringing Mugabe to the table, ignoring the fact that Zanu have run out of money to pay the soldiers and there have been several rebellions.

    Whilst the poor wre being deliberatetly starved to death, whilst the ANC SA govt paid for Johnnie walker whiskey in the negotiators minibars.

    Whilst the aid ban is suppossed to be lifted, in reality the CIO are still starving the population and the War Veterans have stated they “will go to war” if the MDC are allowed to govern, so that’s good news for the deal then isn’t it?

    So let’s be honest XNM.

    And let’s all start celebrating that then shall we?

    (Especially the War Veterans statements that “they will go to War.”)

  28. nzs nzs 13 September 2008

    If anyone (just like the Cheerleader seems to be engaging in flights of fancy) believes there would be the reversal of the land redistribution that has already taken place in Zimbabwe – just to please those who are aggrieved by the loss of their interests – I suggest they pose that question to Tsvangirai. I am confident that the chubby-faced Tsvangirai (who, by the way, needs to be congratulated for staying on course during the negotiations, rather than giving in to the Western temptations) would give an answer in the negative, if he were asked the question about the reversal of the land redistribution programme.

    Go ahead, and ask Tsvangirai what he now thinks of the economic sanctions that are crippling the Zimbabwean economy; I bet Tsvangirai will tell you that there is a need for those sanctions to be lifted so that the country he has been brainwashed to hate by 10 Downing Street and Washington can see itself up again.

    So, any talk of the land having to be given back to the British (or their subsidiaries in Zimbabwe) amounts to daydreaming!

    Well done to Tsvangirai for finally seeing the light!

  29. vapour vapour 13 September 2008

    Your display of the usual South African arrogance drips from this column. Zimbabwe is far more politically mature country than South Africa, and amidst their problems and hardships they never resorted to slaughtering foreigners. Instead of the arrogance displayed in this article, what you should be doing is asking what we can learn from Zimbabwe, or do you really think that the ANC would willingly give up its stranglehold on South Africa when a true opposition party appears? You political attitude remind me of a Bafana Bafana supporter, full of bravado acting like you are African champions when the truth is you are 16 places behind the top team in Africa.

  30. Harold Harold 13 September 2008

    I’d be far happier to think that the people of Zimbabwe now had a chance of a decent government had I not been harbouring doubts for years that Morgan is not the man with the foresight and ability to guide the nation to the futuer that it is capable of. It is strange that no-one more fitted to the job has been able to rise to the top of the pile. My fears are that, once having tasted power, he will turn out to be very much like his predecessor or others on the continent or in the neighbourhood whose initial protestations of democratic leadership have been used to lull us into a false sense of security. I remember in the mid-70’s advising an Harare taxi driver that, if he had anything to say he should say it then – meaning that his own government when it came would muzzle him. I hope I’m wrong this time round. I once thought Bob was the answer>

  31. Lebohang Lebohang 13 September 2008

    I pity our president for the short lived personal victory courtecy of yesterday’s Zuma judgement. It would seem the people of Zimbabwe are not convinced by this signed deal as it means for them the status quo remains as Mugabe remains on top.

    I will be reasonable and say let’s see the details of the deal though we already know that Mugabe remains the president and Tsvangirai will be the prime minister.

  32. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 13 September 2008

    If the Weekend Papers are right (which is a big “if”) Mugabe is still in power, still president, still heads the Cabinet, and Morgan can “advise”.

    THIS is what Mbeki has achieved in 8 years?

    Mbeki is not working in the interests of SA (which is flooded with refugees)

    Mbeki is not working in the interests of Zim (whose people are desperate, starving and dying)

    Mbeki, for 8 years, has worked in the interests of SADC – most of whom are in the same boat as Mugabe – ex”liberators” who have established elites, lined their pockets, and are clinging to power. The quid pro quo was probably to be that they did the same for Mbeki when he tried to change our constitution to increase his term of office. Luckily it did not work.

  33. Canada Canada 15 September 2008

    Lyndall Beddy

    Get your facts right, Mbeki’s official SADC mandate is no more than 2years old. Poisonious spewing vitriol, typical of white South Africans.

    You are lucky to be in the forgiving part of Africa

  34. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 15 September 2008


    Mbeki started to mediate in 2001:

    “An international outrage mounted at this wilful destruction of a once promising country. Mbeki and some other leaders of ..SADC flew to Victoria Falls in April to meet with Mugabe. I cringed …watching a CNN newscast that showed Mbeki standing next to Mugabe holding his hand and smiling…the administration called it “quiet diplomacy”…but it soon became clear that the Zimbabwean had the bit between his teeth and was treating the younger Mbeki with contempt…Later, when Mbeki met with the British government he found out that, contrary to what Mugabe had told him, it was in fact Zimbabwe,not Britain,that had abandoned the donors agreement”

    “Beyond The Miracle” by Allister Sparks (pg268,269)

  35. Rod MacKenzie Rod MacKenzie 15 September 2008

    Well, the news is out, Mad Bob is still in power as per the following minute in the Power-sharing deal: “the president of the republic shall exercise executive authority subject to the Constitution and the law.” The rest is just window dressing, like the coloureds and Indians being given parliamentary seats in SA circa 1983(Not the blacks of course)but no real power.

  36. nzs nzs 17 September 2008

    And people pretend to be surprised by the developments in Zimbabwe, especially the one I have been knocking on some readers’ knuckleheads that Tsvangirai will never be the President of Zimbabwe.

    Tsvangirai says he is happy with the deal. He is the Prime Minister (responsible for a cluster of ministries, who all report to the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe: Robert Gabriel Mugabe). And some still express astonishment!

    One thing the chubby-faced one (and recently bespectacled just to give the impression of a statesmanship) deserves a pat on his back for finally realizing that the puppet handlers in 10 Downing Street and Washington never had the best interests of the ordinary Zimbabweans at heart. All their political posturing was aimed at deflecting the attention from the sordid reality of their respective disapproving electorates in their home countries (the big-chinned Gordon Brown could never have the worst time in his prime ministerial tenure in Britain, as much as the oil-thirsty George Dubya is busy wondering what his grand-children would say about the mayhem he caused in Iraq and Afghanistan in what he was under the illusion was the search for the ever-elusive weapons of mass destruction). So, the best thing for these two morons was to unsolicitedly (and without mandate from anybody) pontificate about the “right course of action” in Zimbabwe, and the recently bespectacled Tsvangirai – oops, sorry, the-now Prime Minister of Zimbabwe – lent credence to the grandstanding of Brown and Dubya.

  37. Canada Canada 17 September 2008

    Lyndall Beddy

    Zimbabwe has been given a chance to reconstruct and make peace with itself, it matters very little whether this was done after 2 or 8 years. Afghanistan is still teethering in mayhem, invasion, insurgency and turmoil despite the military assistance of the might and best in the world

    Its not only whites who despise Mugabe, intelligent Africans like myself abhorr him not for the same colonial, racial or imperialist reasons as yourself.

    No, as an unapologetic africanist my beef with him is that he undermines and treats with contempt the intelligence and potential of Africans to be the best they can be.

    He had ruined a beautiful country with so much potential and this has and had nothing to do with Mbeki who was nothing else but a mediator.

    I will not commnt on Morgan, but respect the people of Zimbabwe for their choice, because the people cannot be deceived nor lied to, as they know exactly what they want.

    Which is different from Zuma who must get the mandate of the majority of South Africans. Mbeki on two occassions was given mandates to govern.

    Let Zuma earn his in the coming elections, if ANC receive the same margin of votes as Mbeki then well and good for them, until then I have not voted for them and they do not have a mandate to scrap Scorpions supposedly on my behalf.

    They can do this after the next election if they amass enough votes. We will see about this

  38. Lyndall Beddy Lyndall Beddy 18 September 2008


    What is racist or imperialistic about my dislike of Mugabe, and what is so “pure” about your dislike of Mugabe? Please explain!

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