Page last updated at 11:03 GMT, Wednesday, 2 April 2008 12:03 UK

Key pillar of Mugabe support wavers

By Ian Pannell
BBC News, Zimbabwe

Worker at a farm in Zimbabwe, April 2008
Some Zanu-PF supporters say they want change

As Zimbabweans continue to wait for official election results, there are signs that a key pillar of President Mugabe's support base is eroding - those who took over confiscated white farms.

Robert Mugabe sowed the seeds of the country's economic downfall in the once fertile fields of Zimbabwe.

A disastrous land reform programme confiscated white-owned farms and gave it to men without the skills or the tools to till the land.

These men have been the bedrock of his support in the past. But this time, things seem to have been different.

We visited a previously white-owned farm that had been taken over after the land reform programme.

The crops had failed and people working there told me that they had no fertiliser and feed was a problem.


They felt the land reform programme had failed and Zanu-PF had failed them.

One told me that he had voted for Zanu-PF in the past. Now he wanted to try something else.

A look in a local shop and you can see why - dusty shelves, a few bars of soap and the odd packet of tea. No food, no jobs and no money.

Crops at a previously white-owned farm in Zimbabwe
The lack of farming basics has left crops to wither

Three days of waiting and still no clear sign of who will run Zimbabwe in the future.

They have waited years for change. Now Zimbabwe must wait a little longer while the results are drip fed to people desperate for change.

Thokozani Khupe of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change is concerned.

"Our major worry is that the delay in announcing these results is a clear demonstration that these people are trying to do something, trying to cook up these results," she said.

"The people of Zimbabwe will not allow Zanu-PF to steal their election anymore."

Some security forces have been seen out on the streets. So far they have kept a low profile and things have been calm.

People hope for peaceful change but fear it may not be possible.

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2019 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific