Editor’s note: This post is a departure from our usually editorial content on the DIFF blog, but we wanted to share this with our readers, as the writer strongly believes in civil and human rights – something we all hold dear. The content here does not reflect or represent any official stance of Quicken Loans and is not intended to do so. This is simply the opinion of the writer and his position on world events he feels important. In most cases, if we were to write a post about civil or human rights, we would highlight a positive example of a person who has fought for them, such as Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr. In this case, the writer points out a negative, with the main hope that civil and human rights can one day be enjoyed by people everyone on Earth.
Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, found himself in World News headlines once again recently for what seems to be a never-ending list of political infractions.
In an arrest more senseless than Plaxico Burress‘s recent two-year sentence for shooting himself in the leg, President Mugabe had his own police sergeant, Alois Mahunu, arrested and imprisoned for using the “Presidential” toilet.
In one royal flush, Mahunu answered the unfortunate call of nature resulting in Mugabe’s operatives charging him with “suspicion of invading the Presidential privy.”
Mugabe, head of Zimbabwe for over for 31 years, is more renowned for his infamous “starve into submission” election tactics of 2004, when he used food scarcity as a political weapon to influence voters to vote for him in the upcoming election.
Records show that 125 people died of malnutrition in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe’s second largest city, in 2004. However, the toll is considered to be exponentially higher in rural areas of Zimbabwe - due to no available health statistics.
Mugabe, who received an honorary LLD degree from Michigan State in 1990, refused to accept or ask for international aid in order to keep the strong-arm on Zimbabwe’s depleted food supply.
The concept was simple, citizens who did not turnover their voter card did not eat.
Nonetheless, the “starve into submission” campaign had lost its influence by the time Mugabe ran for reelection in 2008 prompting his most blatant attempt to fix an election to date.
Reports ran rampant of Mugabe’s brutal killings, violence, and arrest of anyone involved with the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirais movement for Democratic Change. These extreme measures taken by Mugabe to gain reelection influenced Tsvangirai to pull out of election stating, “a free and fair election is impossible.”
Here’s the thing – change is possible and the people of Zimbabwe deserve it.
In fact, change happened just recently. Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ruled for 30 years before he abruptly stepped down in February of this year.
For this reason, spreading awareness about the unrest in Zimbabwe is imperative for the aspirations of peace, equality, and justice of the Zimbabwean people. I hope they too can enjoy the freedom I enjoy everyday and take for granted. That freedom, is something I consider “the DIFF’!