It would be too easy to dismiss President Robert Mugabe’s words as sheer rhetoric. To understand the situation two ‘revolutions’ need to be considered – the fantasy one in Mugabe’s mind and the real one on the ground in Zimbabwe.
Most commentaries in the British press, and ofﬁcial analyses like the Home Ofﬁce country proﬁle of Zimbabwe, content themselves merely with saying that Mugabe’s actions can be explained by his desperate desire to hold on to ofﬁce. His power is at risk and so he threatens some and bribes others. But power for what? And what determines who has to be threatened and who bribed?
Within Zimbabwe there are many explanations for Mugabe’s desire to continue. Some say it is to satisfy the ambitions of a young wife; others that he needs presidential ofﬁce to protect him from prosecution in an international human rights tribunal; still others that illness and age have affected his mind. I do not credit any of these.