Mugabe, Mbeki, and Mandela's Shadow

Nelson Mandela's successor is providing vital help to the illiberal and undemocratic regime in Zimbabwe.

Issue: Spring 2001

Zimbabwe in the mid-1990s was a crisis waiting to happen. President
Robert Mugabe had seen his ambitions of creating a one-party,
Marxist-Leninist state thwarted by economic reality and the need to
submit to International Monetary Fund (IMF) conditions, but neither
he nor his ruling party--the Zimbabwe African National
Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF)--had assimilated the fact that their
entire world-view had been found wanting. The result was a polity
becalmed before a storm: a corrupt, bloated and hegemonic party
presiding over a stagnant economy, and a president and a bureaucracy
facing rising popular discontent but wholly unwilling to reform--let
alone loosen their grip on power.

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