Waiting For Change

Listen to this 'Talk of the Nation' topic

President Robert Mugabe casts his vote in the election that could unseat him.

President Robert Mugabe casts his vote in the election that could unseat him. Source: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Source: Alexander Joe/AFP/Getty Images

For years, Zimbabweans voted with their feet. An economy in free-fall left citizens malnourished, unemployed, and unable to buy staples with their worthless currency. (Today, one US Dollar = 30,597.0 Zimbabwe Dollars.) Citizens fled in search of work and food.

On Saturday, however, they voted with ballots, and it appears that President Robert Mugabe's government — which has held the country in its grip since 1980 — may be unseated, and he may have lost the presidency.

We particularly want to hear from people who have family in Zimbabwe, who are watching events there closely. What are you hoping for? What are your expectations?

Comments

 

Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the NPR.org Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

As a Zimbabwean who became an American last Friday before Saturday's vote, I say good-riddance to the Mugabe regime. The incoherent policies they passed include one that strips me of my Zimbabwean citizenship. It also robs me of my historical links. With over 3 million Zimbabweans now in the diaspora, many of us were looking forward to this day. I hope the international community is monitoring all aspects of the transition including financial transactions so that there is no continued looting and plundering of this abused nation.

For those who describe Mugabe as a hero for liberating people, I say to them he is an abusive father who prides himself for having had you as a child. Abuse should not be tolerated in any form...even from our fathers...it should be condemned.

Sent by Ndigu M. Kwenda | 2:08 PM | 4-3-2008

Please comment on the destruction of so many 1000's of homes and shops by Mugabe's clean up campaign. Was it really to make way for Chinese shop owners? What is Mugabe's relationship with China?

Sent by Mary May | 2:24 PM | 4-3-2008

Peter Godwin's book, When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, was incredibly instructive on the destructive personality and political regime of Robert Mugabe. It should be read by all who want to understand what happened so quickly and so sadly.

Sent by Kate Berding | 2:25 PM | 4-3-2008

Hello,
Robert Mugabe has a lot of skeletons in his cupboard.
While it would be nice if he stepped down what if he did not.
As mentioned on the radio there was the slaughter in Matabeleland. What about Josiah Tongogara? How did he die?
The land distribution manifested itself as groups of drunk strangers camping outside homesteads intimidating farm owners. This in some cases avoidable by delivery of beer to the police station in nearest town. Several farmers were killed. Using food as a political weapon amounting to starvation of a large portion of the population.
All this and both South Africa and SADC did not intervene.
So why should Mugabe feel pressured
now?
This is a chance for Africa to dismiss its reputation of ignorance and corruption.
Will Mugabe deliver?

Sent by John | 2:56 PM | 4-3-2008