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Mugabe Über Alles

The Tyranny of Unity in Zimbabwe

More than a year into a supposed unity government between President Robert Mugabe's Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Zimbabwe continues to stagnate. There has been little unity, even less partnership, a wholesale denial of basic political and human rights, and only marginal economic improvements. Mugabe is holding tightly to the levers of power. As the MDC minister of finance, Tendai Biti, put it bluntly in February, "ZANU-PF cannot continue to urinate on us."

The unity government was born in 2009, after Mugabe finally agreed to share power under pressure from the Southern African Development Community (SADC), a regional bloc. Tsvangirai reluctantly accepted the arrangement despite having won the March 2008 parliamentary election outright -- a result that Mugabe's handpicked electoral commission refused to honor.

From the beginning, Mugabe has run roughshod over the unity compact. Although some ministries were assigned to

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