Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe has fought tooth and nail to maintain his position of power during the three months since his authority was threatened by opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, widely recognized (but not by Mugabe) as the winner of last March’s election, and now it looks like all that hard work and abject brutality has paid off.


The New York Times:

President Robert Mugabe once boasted he had a degree in violence, and he has surely added a doctorate in the savage presidential runoff season that is likely to stagger to a close this weekend with his proclaiming himself the Zimbabwean people’s choice despite an election denounced across the globe as a sham.

In the three months since the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai beat him in the general election, Mr. Mugabe, 84, has accomplished much of what governing party insiders say he and his coterie of strongmen set out to do in the long delay they engineered before the runoff on Friday.

Soldiers, war veterans and unemployed youths mobilized by Mr. Mugabe’s ruling clique have decimated the ranks of the opposition, with the damage measured in shattered bones, battered and burned bodies and the corpses of assassinated organizers — a record that helped prompt President Bush on Saturday to announce that the United States would move forward with broader sanctions on the Zimbabwean government.

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