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March 30, 2008
'We do not rig elections.' - Mugabe
Yeah, and it don't rain in Indianapolis in the summertime:
Zimbabwe is holding a presidential election and 84 year old Robert Mugabe is seeking a mandate from the people to continue his quest to invent new ways to utterly destroy a sovereign nation:
Results from Saturday’s presidential race are not expected until Sunday at the earliest. By and large, the vote was peaceful, with the long lines dissipating as the day went on. There were only minor reports of irregularities at the polls. Oh sure, Mr. President. What possible reason would they have to dislike you?
But questions about a fix — will it happen, how will it be done — hung in the air, so much so that Mr. Mugabe, 84, addressed the matter to reporters as he voted at a Harare primary school.
“We do not rig elections,” he said dismissively, dressed, as is his custom, in a finely tailored suit and well-buffed shoes. “We have that sense of honesty. I cannot sleep with my conscience if I have cheated in elections.” He added, “Why should I cheat? The people are there supporting us.”
Zimbabwe suffers an inflation rate of more than 100,000 percent, a condition of fiscal entropy so chaotic that a standard calculator has an insufficient number of zeros to figure out a grocery bill. People carry heavy bricks of cash encircled by thick rubber bands. A soft drink costs 30 million Zimbabwean dollars, a chicken 200 million, a tank of gas 1.8 billion. Economists and political science academics will be studying what Mugabe did to Zimbabwe for many years to come. The Archbishop actually publicly begged former colonial master Great Britain to invade and save the Zimbabwe people from this monumentally incompetent tyrant.
As a campaign tactic, Mr. Mugabe in the past few weeks tried to win support by quintupling the salaries of public employees. But the pay scales were still so paltry they did not cover bus fare to and from work.
Mugabe's major challenger is Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change party. I do not envy his task if Mugabe allows a fair vote.