East Oregonian : E.O. (Pendleton, OR) 1888-current, November 22, 2017, Page 12, Image 12

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    Page 12A
East Oregonian
Wednesday, November 22, 2017
Mugabe leaves legacy of economic ruin, upheaval in Zimbabwe
From widely acclaimed liberator
of his nation to despotic dictator,
Robert Mugabe’s 37-year rule of
Zimbabwe has been one of Africa’s
most controversial and influential.
Wily and ruthless, the 93-year-old
Mugabe outmaneuvered his oppo-
nents for decades but was undone by
his own miscalculation in his final
weeks in power. He blundered when
he sidelined his right-hand man in
order to position his wife, Grace,
as his successor. He didn’t antic-
ipate that the fired vice president,
Emmerson Mnangagwa, would
swiftly and skillfully depose him.
But Mnangagwa had spent years
learning from Mugabe how to seize
and wield power.
For years Mugabe inspired other
leaders across the continent to
emulate his tactics and extend their
rule by manipulating the consti-
tution and suppressing opposition
through violence and intimidation.
Mugabe’s often violent seizure
of Zimbabwe’s white-owned farms
was his signature action — and
devastated the country’s agricultural
production, transforming what had
been known as Africa’s breadbasket
into a land of barren fields and
hungry people. Mugabe cloaked
the land grabs in ringing rhetoric,
shaking his fist and shouting that
Africa’s land should be held by
Africans. It didn’t matter that the
farms, which had been pledged to
go to poor blacks, instead went to his
generals, Cabinet ministers, cronies
and his wife — or that many of the
fields lay fallow years later. Even
now Mugabe is widely revered by
many Africans as the continent’s
most radical de-colonizer.
His mismanagement of Zimba-
bwe’s economy was staggering.
The country has been transformed
from one that could offer good
employment opportunities to its
well-educated population to a place
of so little hope that people left in
droves. And the 13 million who
stayed behind in Zimbabwe have
coped with an unemployment rate
estimated at higher than 80 percent.
Mugabe had a Marxist’s belief
that even the economy would do
AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi
Zimbabweans celebrate after Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe resigned in Harare on Tuesday.
The streets of Zimbabwe’s capital have erupted in dancing, singing, honking and cheers after Mugabe
announced his immediate resignation after 37 years in power.
what he wanted. “Countries don’t
go bankrupt!” he once scoffed
when asked if by sending army
troops to Congo in 1998 he would
ruin Zimbabwe’s economy. He
was wrong. By 2008 Zimbabwe’s
hyperinflation reached 500 billion
percent, according to the Interna-
tional Monetary Fund.
Once the land of liberation from
white minority rule, Zimbabwe
became one of fear as a result of
Mugabe’s far-reaching domestic spy
network, the Central Intelligence
Organization. Hundreds of opposi-
tion supporters were killed or disap-
peared during election campaigns.
Many more were tortured, such as
Jestina Mukoko, who was tortured
for weeks and after her release
bravely advocated for the rights of
those detained.
It is hard to remember that
Mugabe once enjoyed international
praise for bringing Zimbabwe to
independence. Throughout the
1970s he directed a deadly, effective
guerrilla war against Rhodesia’s
white minority rule regime. When
he won the 1980 elections, he
was relatively unknown. The
country, and the world at large, was
impressed by his impeccable, care-
fully enunciated Oxford English.
He endorsed racial reconciliation
to wide acclaim. He was nominated
for a Nobel Peace Prize.
But even in the glory years of
Zimbabwe’s early independence,
Mugabe appeared cold and calcu-
lating in public appearances and
And then came the bloody
campaign in which the army’s
North Korean-trained Fifth Brigade
brutally put down a small rebel
group supporting opposition leader
Joshua Nkomo. Between 1983
and 1985 an estimated 10,000
to 20,000 people of Zimbabwe’s
Ndebele minority were killed by
the army in southern Zimbabwe, in
what is known as the Matabeleland
Massacres. Human rights groups
and the Catholic Church docu-
mented and condemned the killings,
which remain the darkest stain on
Mugabe’s record and a scar that
plagues the country.
“Amnesty Lies International,”
was how Mugabe dismissed a
critical report by Amnesty Interna-
Tarnished by the killings,
Mugabe was still grudgingly
respected, especially for his support
for the battle against apartheid, the
system of white minority rule in
neighboring South Africa. When
Nelson Mandela was freed from
prison in 1990, he quickly visited
Zimbabwe to thank Mugabe for his
support. But Mugabe came to resent
Mandela, who outshined him. When
Mugabe married his second wife,
Grace, in 1996, Mandela attended
the reception. Mugabe glowered
with irritation when Mandela got far
more cheers from the thousands of
guests than he did.
Mandela put forward a generous,
inclusive view of African nation-
alism that won him international
praise and a Nobel Peace Prize.
Mugabe became a starkly different
type of African leader, who margin-
alized critics and restricted free-
doms. His homophobic outbursts
against gays as “worse than pigs
and dogs” contrasted with Mande-
la’s enthusiastic support for LGBT
Mugabe’s leadership became
more like that of his one-time foe,
Rhodesia’s white minority ruler Ian
Smith. Mugabe used Rhodesian-era
laws to suppress public gatherings
and opposition parties. He used the
army, police and the security to keep
the people subservient.
An ascetic leader, Mugabe rarely
drank and stayed spry into his 90s.
But while his tastes had been rela-
tively modest through the 1980s that
changed after his marriage to Grace
Mugabe. They built a 25-bedroom
mansion on a sprawling property
in Harare’s Borrowdale suburb that
became known as the Blue Roof
house for its turquoise tiles imported
from China. Sporting designer
clothes, shoes and sparkling jewels,
the first lady, more than 40 years
younger than Mugabe, became
known as “Gucci Grace.”
In the last months of Mugabe’s
rule the family’s lavish ways
became outlandish, even to
Zimbabwe’s jaded public. Grace
Mugabe pressed a lawsuit against a
Lebanese diamond dealer in which
she charged she had paid him for
a 100-carat diamond but he only
gave her a gem of 30 carats. One
of the couple’s sons posted images
on social media of himself pouring
champagne over his diamond-en-
crusted watch.
The growing outrage among
Zimbabweans at the excesses finally
spilled over on Saturday, a few days
after the military moved in to put
Mugabe under house arrest, a the
bulk of Harare’s 1.6 million people
thronged the streets to demand that
the longtime president finally step
Dramatic video shows
escape, shooting of
N. Korean defector
AP Photo/Hussein Malla
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, center, escort-
ed by his bodyguards walks to pray over his father’s
grave, upon his arrival to Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday.
Lebanon’s Hariri returns to
Beirut amid resignation saga
BEIRUT (AP) — Saad
Hariri returned to Lebanon
late Tuesday for the first time
since he stunned his country
by announcing from Saudi
Arabia that he was quitting as
prime minister more than two
weeks ago.
His resignation, made in
an uncomfortable televised
statement from Riyadh, set
off an international political
crisis involving Paris and
Washington, who were left
without one of their chief
partners in a region swirling
in conflict.
Hariri left Saudi Arabia
for Paris on Saturday by
invitation of French President
Emmanuel Macron, before
traveling on to Beirut by
way of Egypt and Cyprus on
President Michel Aoun
said he would not accept the
resignation until Hariri deliv-
ered it in person.
Hariri, looking solemn
upon his arrival, was driven
from the airport to pray at the
grave of his father, the late
Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.
He then retired to his home in
central Beirut.
He was expected to join
Aoun and Parliament Speaker
Nabih Berri at the army’s
independence day parade
Hariri was leading a
coalition government with
his political opponents in
the militant group Hezbollah
when he stunned Lebanon by
announcing his resignation on
Nov. 4. He accused Hezbollah
of holding Lebanon hostage
and hinted there was a plot
against his life.
The announcement pushed
Lebanon back to the forefront
of a pounding regional rivalry
between Saudi Arabia and
Iran, which until recently
appeared to have a tacit agree-
ment to find an accord to keep
Lebanon stable.
It also set off speculation
that Hariri had been forced
to step down by the Gulf
kingdom and was being held
there against his will. His
announcement was accom-
panied by a sharp intensi-
fication of Saudi rhetoric
against Hezbollah, which the
kingdom accuses of meddling
on Iran’s behalf in regional
fighting on the side of Syrian
President Bashar Assad
in that country’s brutal
civil war, where many of
Assad’s enemies are rebels
backed by Saudi Arabia. The
kingdom says Hezbollah is
also advising Houthi rebels
waging a war against Yemen’s
Saudi-backed government.
Hezbollah says Saudi
Arabia has partnered with
Israel to conspire against
regional independence.
Hariri, in his only in depth
interview since announcing
his resignation, told his media
station Future TV that he
could retract his resignation
if a deal could be struck with
his opponents to distance
Lebanon from regional
Hariri’s trek back from
Saudi Arabia came by way
of Paris, Egypt, and Cyprus,
where he met with the presi-
dents of those countries.
Abdel-Fatah el-Sissi and
French leader Emmanuel
Macron are reportedly trying
to mediate a solution that
would involve rolling back
Hariri’s resignation.
SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — A
North Korean soldier races for the
border in a jeep and then on foot
before his former comrades shoot
him at least five times as he limps
into South Korea, where he collapses
and is dragged to safety by southern
soldiers on a dramatic video released
by the U.S.-led U.N. command
The defection, subsequent surgeries
and slow recovery of the soldier have
riveted South Korea, but it will be a
huge embarrassment for the North,
which claims all defections are the
result of rival Seoul kidnapping or
enticing North Koreans to defect.
Pyongyang has said nothing about the
defection so far.
North Korea’s actions during
the defector’s Nov. 13 escape at
Panmunjom violated the armistice
agreement ending the Korean War
because North Korean soldiers fired
across and physically crossed the
border in pursuit of the soldier, Col.
Chad G. Carroll, a spokesman for the
U.N. command, told reporters in a live
TV briefing.
The video shows the soldier
speeding down a tree-lined road,
headlights on, past dun-colored
fields and shocked North Korean
soldiers, who begin to run after him.
He crashes the jeep into a ditch near
the line that divides North and South
and the blue huts familiar to anyone
who’s toured the area, which is the
part of the border where North and
South Korean soldiers face each other
at their closest distance just feet apart.
There were no tour groups at the time
of the defection, Carroll said.
VA study shows parasite
from Vietnam may be
killing veterans
HERALD, W.Va. (AP) — A half
a century after serving in Vietnam,
hundreds of veterans have a new
reason to believe they may be dying
from a silent bullet — test results
show some men may have been
infected by a slow-killing parasite
while fighting in the jungles of
Southeast Asia.
The Department of Veterans Affairs
this spring commissioned a small pilot
study to look into the link between
liver flukes ingested through raw or
undercooked fish and a rare bile duct
It can take decades for symptoms
to appear. By then, patients are often
in tremendous pain, with just a few
months to live.
Of the 50 blood samples submitted,
more than 20 percent came back
positive or bordering positive for liver
fluke antibodies, said Sung-Tae Hong,
United Nations Command via AP
This combination of images made from Nov. 13 surveillance video
released by the United Nations Command shows a North Korean soldier
running from a jeep and then shot by North Korean soldiers in Panmun-
jom, North Korea, before collapsing across the border in South Korea.
the tropical medicine specialist who
carried out the tests at Seoul National
University in South Korea.
“It was surprising,” he said,
stressing the preliminary results could
include false positives and that the
research is ongoing.
Northport VA Medical Center
spokesman Christopher Goodman
confirmed the New York facility
collected the samples and sent them to
the lab. He would not comment on the
findings, but said everyone who tested
positive was notified.
Though rarely found in Americans,
the parasites infect an estimated 25
million people worldwide.
Endemic in the rivers of Vietnam,
the worms can easily be wiped out
with a handful of pills early on, but
left untreated they can live for decades
without making their hosts sick. Over
time, swelling and inflammation
of the bile duct can lead to cancer.
Jaundice, itchy skin, weight loss and
other symptoms appear only when the
disease is in its final stages.
Haitians relieved to stay
in U.S., upset status to end
MIAMI (AP) — Yolnick Jeune
couldn’t sleep for days, anxious
over the fate of a program that has
staved off the deportations of both
herself and tens of thousands of other
Haitians in the U.S.
Then, President Donald Trump’s
administration this week announced
one last 18-month extension of the
Temporary Protected Status that has
allowed her to work and provide
for her five children, including a
7-year-old, U.S.-born girl.
“I can breathe a little and get some
rest. This buys me time to figure out
what’s next,” Jeune said Tuesday
in Miami’s Little Haiti community,
standing next to her daughter
But at the same time, Jeune
is upset that the government on
Monday said she and nearly 60,000
Haitians must return home July 2019,
ruling out any further extensions of
the immigration benefits given to
Haitians who came before and in the
aftermath of the Caribbean country’s
2010 earthquake.
“I am very depressed to know that
within 18 months, I have to go back,”
she said.
Having been in Miami since
2009, Jeune has not returned to
Haiti but hears from her sister and
other relatives back in her native
Port-de-Paix that conditions have not
improved for those whose lives were
upended by the earthquake.’
Bombing at Nigeria
mosque kills at least 50
LAGOS, Nigeria (AP) — A
teenage suicide bomber attacked
worshippers as they gathered for
morning prayers Tuesday at a mosque
in northeastern Nigeria, killing at least
50 people, police said, in one of the
region’s deadliest assaults in years.
Bloody debris covered the floor
inside the mosque in Mubi town in
Adamawa state where worshippers
had arrived around 5 a.m. Outside,
people gathered around the dead.
President Muhammadu Buhari
tweeted that he was “saddened by
the very cruel and dastardly suicide
bombing attack.”
“May the souls of the dead rest in
peace,” he added.
Police spokesman Othman
Abubakar told The Associated Press
they were “still trying to ascertain the
number of injured because they are in
various hospitals.”
While there was no immediate
claim of responsibility for the
bombing, suspicion immediately fell
on the Boko Haram extremist group.