Western media finally admits that Mugabe continues to enjoy massive support in spite of economic sanctions

Publié le par hort


Western media acknowledges President’s popularity

THE Western media has acknowledged President Mugabe continues to enjoy massive support in the rural areas despite the suffering caused by the Western-imposed economic blockade.AFP reported at the weekend that President Mugabe continues to command a huge following among the rural population despite being isolated by his erstwhile allies from the West and the economic hardships besetting Zimbabwe spawned by the illegal economic sanctions.

Read the report: "Accompanied by a village choir, waving fists and miniature ruling party flags, thecrowd of several thousand thunders out four words in a constant refrain: ‘Long Live Comrade Mugabe’. A poet punctuates his recital with long pauses before chanting a string of praises for the man he credits with ‘getting us back our land, our birthright’ and ‘restoring our dignity’ — President Mugabe. ‘Mugabe is Right’ proclaimed a banner at Mahusekwa where Cde Mugabe held his fourth star rally ahead of joint presidential, legislative, Senate and council polls later this month while another described him as ‘tried and tested’.

President Mugabe has his all-weather supporters in the rural areas," says Joseph Kurebga, a political scientist at the University of Zimbabwe. "The ruling party had a close relationship with the rural population during the liberation struggle and the relationship has persisted. The other reason for his popularity is that the President is a gifted orator who has a way of relating with his audience."

When Cde Mugabe travelled to Mahusekwa — a two-hour drive south-east of Harare — last week, the usually sedate service centre was bustling with life as villagers from surrounding areas converged at the venue of the rally. At a local bar waitresses donned ruling party regalia as they chatted with patrons, most of whom were wearing ruling party T-shirts. "What unites us is our history, our struggles," President Mugabe told around 7 000 people on a playing field at Mahusekwa Secondary School as the crowd nodded in approval. "We were slaves in our own country. We were not allowed to vote. We were banned from walking along some streets or shopping in certain stores such as Barbours and Sanders. "Chiefs were appointed by the minority white regime. The railway line that stretches to Beira was built with forced black labour while our people were driven off their fertile lands to sandy places like Mahusekwa where you live today," he said.

Mr Augustine Timbe, a political analyst, said: "He (Cde Mugabe) has a way of identifying the issues affecting his audiences and showing them the efforts his Government is making to address them despite the stubbornness of the challenges."In the end, they can see the genuine intent to address the problems and give him the benefit of

Despite their hardships, including food shortages and large-scale unemployment, the villagers pledge their loyalty to President Mugabe. "2008 Elections: Mugabe Alone" read a poster at Mahusekwa while another proclaimed "I vote for the fist". The fist is the ruling party symbol of strength. Cde Mugabe usually waves his when he arrives at a political gathering. President Mugabe faces a challenge from independent candidate Simba Makoni and Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of a faction of the MDC." 

Source: AFP

Publié dans contemporary africa

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