Quote of the week

Both the constructive disagreement intrinsic to science and the adversarial scrutiny necessary to politics disappear in this invocation of science as the ultimate authority – this trick will become familiar in the coming months. An extraordinary emergency requires extraordinary powers; no one disagrees with that. But it is politics, not science, which grants these powers legitimacy. How long will they endure?

James Butler
London Review of Books
1 April 2008

End of the road for Robert Mugabe?

The New York Times is reporting that the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai is in talks with advisers to President Robert Mugabe, amid signs that some of those close to Mr. Mugabe may encourage him to resign. The Times is quoting “a Western diplomatic source and a prominent Zimbabwe political analyst”. They claim the negotiations about a possible transfer of power away from Mr. Mugabe come after he apparently concluded that a runoff election would be demeaning.

Zimbabwean students with parents in the ZANU PF hierarchy also told me earlier today of these rumours. Could it really be the end of Robert Mugabe? If these reports are true, President Thabo Mbeki may finally take some credit for finally outmaneuvering Mr Mugabe. President Mbeki was instrumental in engineering changes to the Electoral Act which requires votes to be counted at each polling station and results posted outside each station, making rigging of the poll much more difficult.

But I will only believe it when I see it. Holding thumbs though. No leader should hang on to power for so long.

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