One of the African issues to face the
President-elect Barack Obama is the worsening economic, humanitarian and
political situation in Zimbabwe. Some analysts say he is uniquely
positioned to help Zimbabwe get back on track.
Others feel President Robert
Mugabe will continue to pursue the same policies regardless of who is in the
John Makumbe, professor of political
science at the University of Zimbabwe, says an Obama presidency will put the
country back on track.
"We were celebrating yesterday and they are still at it,
some of them they are hoping Barack Obama will be firmer with Robert Mugabe in
terms of getting him to do the right thing," he said. "Barack Obama is expected to be
allergic to dictators, particularly in Africa, and the people of Zimbabwe are
hoping that he will push harder than George Bush was doing to get rid of Robert
Mugabe from the seat of power in Zimbabwe."
Makumbe says Mr. Obama has the potential
to make a significant positive impact in resolving the Zimbabwe crisis.
think he will have more political clout being an African American; he has a
very powerful platform to stand on…. The African Union…will take very seriously
what one of their own sons would say and so Barack Obama would have the ear of
most African leaders and if he would be saying the situation in Zimbabwe is
untenable, it's embarrassing to Africa, it's embarrassing to African Americans,
it's embarrassing to mankind - they will take that seriously, yes," he said.
political science professor says Mr. Obama will probably implement the same
policies as President Bush.
"With two wars in Iraq, there is precious little
[he would do] because I don't think even Barack Obama would open another military
front, least of all in Africa, but I think there will be an intensification of
sanctions against the Robert Mugabe regime," he said. "I think there will be more
diplomatic effort to get not just the SADC countries, but also the Africa
Union, to apply pressure on Robert Mugabe to do the right thing."