"In Zimbabwe, people really do believe this is a general election - because the generals decide who gets elected." -Comrade Fatso, Harare
Zim is facing an end game of sorts- whatever the 84 year old dictator Robert Gabriel Mugabe may try to do to avoid it. It has been clear for at least a decade that the population of the once prosperous land between the Zambezi and the Limpopo were tiring of their incompetent, corrupt and brutal ruler.
The massacre of the Ndebele in the mid-1980's which may have killed 10,000 people and which certainly ended the idea of Zimbabwe as a pluralist democracy was simply the first step in the dreadful decline of the country. Perhaps, symbolically the leader of the group most involved in the death squads of the time, North Korean trained Fifth Brigade- Col. Perence Shiri- is rumoured to have attempted suicide as it became clear that Zanu-PF might lose power.
Now the rampant corruption has brought the country to its knees and the regime now faces a critical choice. Either they attempt to compromise with the forces of reform or they return to violence but this time on a scale that would be truly barbaric.
The people of Zimbabwe are hopeful, but the track record of Zanu-PF is violent and savage.