Britain is shoring up Robert Mugabe's oppressive regime: It shouldn't

After almost four decades in power, Robert Mugabe's vice-like grip on Zimbabwe seems to be slipping. There have been public sector strikes and street protests. The economy is shattered and the state coffers are empty, the government struggling to find funds even to pay security forces that shore up a calamitous regime. And the doddery 92-year-old despot is being deserted by key allies with calls for his departure amid a savage internal battle to succeed the President.

The latest sign of waning control came last week with a statement by war veterans attacking him as dictatorial and egocentric. For decades, these former comrades who led the disastrous seizure of white farms were the people so quick to defend Mugabe with violence. Now they claim they regret keeping quiet while citizens were abused, condemning suppression of free expression and accusing their President of corruption. "This rot needs to be uprooted, and right now," they said.

As the Zanu PF regime crumbles its veneer of constitutionalism is rapidly peeling off. Any opposition to Mugabe is now seen as treason.

Even the regime's storm troops – the war veterans – have now been accused of being traitors for questioning Mugabe. The accusation came from the top civil servant in the veterans' ministry, retired Brigadier-General Asher Tapfunaneyi.

He was responding to a statement by the War Veterans' Association after a 7-hour leadership meeting. The statement accused Mugabe of entrenching dictatorial tendencies, egocentrism and misrule and said it would not support his re-election campaign (see:Zimbabwe threatens "traitorous" War Veterans, after Mugabe attack – Zimbabwe threatens "traitorous" war veterans after Mugabe attack and war veterans dump mugabe - and back zimbabwe protesters.

The Zimbabwean diaspora was interested to hear from Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo that we are being used by Western countries to promote alarm, despondency and unrest in the motherland where all is 'calm and peaceful'.

The Herald says Chombo's remarks came in the wake of the Vigil's demonstration at the Royal Institute of International Affairs in London against the money-raising visit by Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa which ended in humiliation for the Minister.

The Herald quotes Chombo as saying 'so-called asylum seekers should be working for nation building rather than fomenting hate messages against the government' (see: chombo blasts unpatriotic diasporans).

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