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Mugabe ruthless politician — Dell

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Former United States ambassador to Zimbabwe Christopher Dell said President Robert Mugabe was a ruthless politician who will cling to power at all costs by virtue of the liberation struggle.

According to latest, WikiLeaks dispatches released last week, Dell said: “One thing at least is certain, Mugabe will not wake up one morning a changed man, resolved to set right all he has wrought.

“He will not go quietly nor without a fight. He will cling to power at all costs and the costs be damned, he deserves to rule by virtue of the liberation struggle and land reform and the people of Zimbabwe have let him down by failing to appreciate this, thus he need not worry about their well-being. The only scenario in which he might agree to go with a modicum of good grace is one in which he concludes that the only way to end his days a free man is by leaving State House. I judge that he is still a long way from this conclusion and will fight on for now.”

However, Webster Shamu, the Zanu PF secretary for the commissariat, said: “What imperialists choose to mislead themselves is that the people of Zimbabwe are resisting colonialism.”

He said President Mugabe was not a dictator because after every five years he goes for elections and the people “vote for him”.

But, in his dispatches to Washington on July 7 2007, Dell said: “(President) Robert Mugabe has survived for so long because he is more clever and more ruthless than any other politician in Zimbabwe. To give the devil his due, he is a brilliant tactician and has long thrived on his ability to abruptly change the rules of the game, radicalise the political dynamic and force everyone else to react to his agenda.”

He added:

“However, he is fundamentally hampered by several factors: his ego and belief in his own infallibility; his obsessive focus on the past as a justification for everything in the present and future; his deep ignorance on economic issues (coupled with the belief that his 18 doctorates give him the authority to suspend the laws of economics, including supply and demand); and his essentially short-term, tactical style.”

Dell reportedly said while President Mugabe’s tactical skills had kept him in power over the years, this has only been achieved by “a series of populist, but destructive and ultimately self-defeating moves”.

“In reaction to losing the 2000 referendum on the Constitution, a vengeful (President) Mugabe unleashed his Green Bombers to commit land reform and in the process, he destroyed Zimbabwe’s agricultural sector, once the bedrock of the economy,” he said.

“Having said my piece repeatedly over the last three years, I won’t offer a lengthy prescription for our Zimbabwe policy. My views can be stated very simply as stay the course and prepare for change. Our policy is working and it’s helping to drive change here. What is required is simply the grit, determination and focus to see this through. Then, when the changes finally come we must be ready to move quickly to help consolidate the new dispensation”.

President Mugabe and his Zanu PF political party have repeatedly accused the US administration of pushing a regime change agenda in Harare.

The US administration and the European Union have slapped President Mugabe, his senior officials and companies with links to Zanu PF with restrictive measures.

Washington and the EU accused President Mugabe of human rights violations, an allegation the 87-year-old former guerilla leader has vehemently denied.

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