Pragoti is reproducing the debate between Patrick Bond and Mahmood Mamdani,on the political impasse in Zimbabwe that was triggered off by Mamdani's article - 'Lessons of Zimbabwe'. Patrick Bond argues that Mugabe's survival is closely linked with the existing system of crony capitalism buttressed by extensive patronage. Mamdani on the other hand,traces the historic roots of the land question, and asserts the role of Western imperialism in the current situation and excessive vilification of Mugabe.
It is hard to think of a figure more reviled in the West than Robert Mugabe. Liberal and conservative commentators alike portray him as a brutal dictator, and blame him for Zimbabwe’s descent into hyperinflation and poverty. The seizure of white-owned farms by his black supporters has been depicted as a form of thuggery, and as a cause of the country’s declining production, as if these lands were doomed by black ownership. Sanctions have been imposed, and opposition groups funded with the explicit aim of unseating him. Writes Mahmood Mamdani
Robert Mugabe's authoritarianism takes Zimbabwe into a downward spiral
There is no question that the struggle over land and power in Zimbabwe has brought the country to a grim pass. Nearly a decade after the takeover of white-owned farms and the rupture with the west, economic breakdown, hyperinflation, sanctions and Aids have taken a heavy toll. With the expectation now that a second round of elections, mired in claims of fraud, may after all keep President Mugabe in power, the prospect must be of continued economic punishment and crisis.