Will Zimbabwe’s Robert Mugabe win the presidency again?

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe addresses a media conference at State house in Harare, on the eve of the country's general elections. Credit: Reuters
Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe addresses the media at a conference at State house in Harare, on the eve of the country’s general elections.
Credit: Reuters

Robert Mugabe, a former freedom fighter and Zimbabwe’s President, has ruled his country ever since its independence. But the West sees in Mugabe a brutal dictator; the EU has even banned him from entering its territory. And in Wednesday’s presidential election, the 89-year-old faces real pressure.

Metro spoke with Dr. Knox Chitiyo, a fellow at Chatham House in London and the former deputy director of the Centre for Defence Studies at the University of Zimbabwe.

Robert Mugabe has won every presidential election so far. Will he win again?

This time the outcome is far from certain. The elections have galvanized support for opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. That’s very different from a year ago, when Tsvangirai was faced with numerous allegations relating to love affairs. Right now it doesn’t look like his domestic travails will have much impact. But support for Mugabe has galvanized, too.

If Mugabe loses, will he go or put up a fight?

Unlike the last election [which resulted in violence], there’s a lot more pressure on the candidates. If there’s a clear winner, there will be enormous pressure on the loser to concede. Of course, if it’s a close outcome and a runoff election, it will be a completely different matter. But South Arica and the African Union will put a lot of pressure on Mugabe to behave.

Zimbabwe’s economy is in tatters. Why do people still vote for Mugabe?

There has been an economic turnaround since the coalition government came into power in 2008. Zimbabwe is no longer a disaster zone. But people will vote for the candidate they think can create jobs and better transportation. This is not an ideological election.

What will happen to Mugabe if he loses his election? Will he retire abroad?

It won’t end his political career; he’ll still be regarded as an elder of Zimbabwean politics. Tsvangirai would still have to consult with him. On the other hand, if Tsvangirai loses the election, it will be the end of the road for him.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

NYPD looking for man they say assaulted elderly…

      The New York City Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating a Hispanic male 20's wanted in connection with…

Local

Three arrested after allegedly assaulting off-duty officer in…

Three men were arrested early Saturday morning after allegedly assaulting an off-duty officer at a Bronx bodega, and the NYPD is asking for the public's…

Local

Healthcare union creates vibrant West Indian Day Parade…

Volunteers worked almost around the clock through the weekend, putting the flashy finishing touches on hundreds of costume pieces 1199SEIU members will wear while marching…

National

Top 10 most hipster college campuses

Hipsters are everywhere these days. You can't walk down the anywhere anymore without seeing a pair of skinny jeans on a handlebar mustachioed 20-something, a…

Arts

Theater: Discouraging 'Poor Behavior'

Theresa Rebeck's latest off-Broadway play, about two couples sparring on a weekend getaway, repeats a few mistakes of her past.

Gossip

Chef Todd English arrested for DWI in the…

Celebrity chef Todd English is facing DWI charges after a traffic stop on Sunday.

Movies

Box office: 'Guardians of the Galaxy' is 2014's…

This weekend "The Guardians of the Galaxy" passed the fourth "Transformers" movie to become the highest grossing film of 2014.

Gossip

Spears back with controversial ex?

Is Briteny Spears back with Adnan Ghalib?

Sports

Novak Djokovic feeds off US Open crowd to…

Novak Djokovic isn't a native New Yorker, but he sure knows how to use the U.S. Open crowd to his advantage.

NFL

Odell Beckham still 'weeks away,' Tom Coughlin angry…

Giants head coach Tom Coughlin has fought a losing battle against the media all preseason over the status of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

Education

These college students think breakfast is the most…

  It should be no surprise that the city that never sleeps is also home to the most students who like to order food in…

Sex

When it comes to dating, height matters

Does a man’s height really matter when it comes to dating? Unfortunately - according to a new study - the answer looks like it’s yes.…

Travel

10 free apps to make traveling easier

Finding the nearest bathroom, calculating currency exchanges and locating your departure gate must have been difficult for travelers of previous generations. But we wouldn't know,…

Travel

How to get a seat upgrade to business…

It used to be much easier to upgrade your coach seat to business or even first class, but rigid rules and tighter schedules have made…