Zimbabwe and the Failure of Democracy in Africa

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Robert Mugabe was supposed to be the savior of Zimbabwe. Twenty-two years ago, he led a revolution against fascist, minority rule, setting up a democracy in 1980. But since then, Mugabe has led his country on a downward path towards dictatorship.

Earlier this month, Mugabe won a fifth, six-year term as Zimbabwe's President. The election was condemned as unfair by nearly every other country in the world, but Mugabe does not care much about world opinion. He expelled several of the international overseers sent in to ensure the election's fairness.

Reports out of Zimbabwe say Mugabe has driven hundreds of opposition supporters out of their homes, and his election opponent, Morgan Tsvangirai, has been charged with treason for allegedly plotting to assassinate Mugabe.

The upheaval in Zimbabwe follows disputed elections in other African nations like Zambia, Uganda, Zanzibar, Gambia, Benin, Ivory Coast, Mali, Togo, and Madagascar. This hour, we examine the monumental task of establishing democracy in Africa. If it has failed in Zimbabwe, can it take root anywhere on the continent? What role can the West play in bringing democracy to Africa?


Ambassador Tom McDonald, former US Ambassador to Zimbabwe

Martin Meredith, Author of "Robert Mugabe and the Tragedy of Zimbabwe"

This program aired on March 26, 2002.


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