Monday, December 15, 2008

The creeping paranoia of Robert Mugabe

With a cholera outbreak spreading across Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe's government is now trying to blame their country's problems on an old foe. According to their information minister, Zimbabwe's cholera outbreak isn't because the country's water and sewer systems have collapsed after years of neglect, no they are part of a "calculated, racist, terrorist attack on Zimbabwe" on the part of Great Britain using a "serious biological chemical weapon."

Yes, according to Mugabe, Britain is using cholera as a weapon to turn Zimbabwe back into a colony. But this isn't the first time that Mugabe has accused the British of trying to bring his country back under its heel in an effort to cover up for his own mismanagement of his country. Now though, he's lashing out at his African neighbors as well.

On Sunday Patrick Chinamasa, Zimbabwe's justice minister, said that Botswana was working with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party to stage a coup. The MDC is the party of Morgan Tsvangirai, the man most observers believe actually won Zimbabwe's presidential elections earlier in the year. Unlike some of Zimbabwe's other neighbors (like South Africa), Botswana has been a vocal critic of Mugabe's regime and has joined the chorus of nations around the world saying it's time for him to go.

Zimbabwe, of course, accused Botswana of becoming "a surrogate of Western imperial powers", and also made a pretty direct threat against them, saying their actions could bring "a lot of suffering...[to] the population of Botswana”.

Western diplomats said that the ever more erratic behavior on the part of Mugabe is only making a stronger case for branding Zimbabwe a rogue nation. The UN, meanwhile, said that despite Mugabe's claims, the cholera outbreak is still running through Zimbabwe and could infect 60,000 people.
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