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EDITIONS
Monday, 21 February, 2000, 13:02 GMT
Are President Mugabe's days numbered?
One of the grand old men of African politics has for the first time tasted defeat at the polls.

Zimbabwe's President Mugabe lost a referendum seeking to change the constitution, which in reality became a popularity test for the ageing leader.

What does this mean for Zimbabwe? Will his party still win parliamentary elections due in April? Is it the beginning of the end for President Mugabe? Tell us what you think.


Your Reaction

Mugabe and his ruling party ZANU(PF) have taken victory for granted for too long

Bothwell Kaseke, Zimbabwe
Mugabe and his ruling party ZANU(PF) have taken victory for granted for too long. The party has won its parliamentary elections in the past by intimidating the rural folk by the inciting the inevitability of another war if they lost. Mugabe's victory will depend on the rural folk. Are they going to believe the same threats they have heard over and over again? Or will they realise that all along they have feared to be mauled by a teethless lion and make their own decision? The urban folk have already made their decisions and I do not see Mugabe and his party grabbing a single seat in the urban areas.
Bothwell Kaseke, Zimbabwe

For the good of his country, Mugabe ought to think about stepping aside before he is rudely removed. He truly belongs to the past, as is clear from his now antiquated ideas and policies that have ruined once a great country.
Willis Shalita, USA (San Francisco)

Miracles won't happen, but it's a step in the right direction. More worrying is the compliments Ian Smith seems to be getting. What's the point of being Africa's 'most prosperous country' if only a small few share the wealth? Ian Smith might be a good economist, but why did that stop him treating Blacks as human beings? Smith says Mugabe is corrupt. He is totally correct, but also hypocritical. If keeping all the land and cash for a VERY small white minority isn't corrupt, what is?
David Richards, UK

If Mugabe is so desperate for money then maybe he should ask for help from the present and former communist eastern-block countries who funded and supplied his terrorist activities to help him into power in the first place. He seems adamant that Britain owes him money, has he forgotten what UDI stood for?
Bill Grove, UK

I would never call Mugabe a "grand old man of African politics" - "grand old villain" would be more fitting.

Ashley, Australia (born in Zimbabwe)
I would never call Mugabe a "grand old man of African politics" - "grand old villain" would be more fitting. With him and ZANU-PF at the helm, Zimbabwe will never be able to achieve her full potential. The question remains, IF they finally do lose power, can the damage they've done ever be repaired?
Ashley, Australia (born in Zimbabwe)

It is high time that Bob is made to stand down and that way the country may make a positive up swing. As every one should know we've been on a down hill run ever since 1980 and getting steeper. The country has a lot to offer for all and in all aspects so we can only hope for a swing.
Pete, Zimbabwe

Its about time the people of the country realise what our dictator has done. Maybe with the future possibility of change the country and the people might be able to benefit from what there really is to offer in that country - that is before it is left to total ruin!
A white Zimbo!, Zimbabwe

Frank Ouma-Okot obviously has no clue what happens in Zimbabwe - so in future your comments would be best kept to yourself! Zimbabweans have been brainwashed yes, but we've been brainwashed into believing that Mugabe and his government were committed to helping our country. I'm personally delighted that people are finally seeing through him and all his lies. I'm delighted that people are not blaming the less than 1% white population for all the country's problems (which Mugabe wants everyone to believe!) So carry on MDC - thank you for finally making a stand against this communist rule!
Gail, Zimbabwe

These guys never learn, do they? Mugabe should retire gracefully and be the father of the nation like Nyerere. Though Nyerere was a failure in his Ujamma policy and caused the Tanzanian economy to virtually grind to a halt he understood and quit and was able to retain the reverence of a grateful nation and Africa. Dear President, its time!
J Thakrar, USA

As a white Zimbabwean now living in the UK I can only hope that recent events point to a positive change in the politics of Southern Africa. It would seem that Zimbabwe has two options, epitomised by its neighbours. Develop the forward thinking attitude expressed in the South African solution or plunge into the misery that it Mozambique. Let us hope that if Mugabe goes - as he surely must - that there is someone able to take his place and begin the process of the reconstruction of this beautiful but scarred country.
Michael, UK

It's high time Zimbabweans start to enjoy the fruits of true independence.

Mai Takunda, UK
Mugabe's days are surely numbered. The evil he has done for the country outweighs anything good he might have done. It's high time we vote out the old man and give a chance to young energetic and capable Zimbabweans with fresh ideas. It's high time Zimbabweans start to enjoy the fruits of true independence.
Mai Takunda, UK

To the People of Zimbabwe: Citizens, Young and old, Poor and the rich, we have been fooled by this government of Mugabe for too long. Mugabe and his cronies have stayed too long for any good, DEPART WE SAY.
C. Foxstone, Zambia

This is a deserved lesson a lesson for the abusive and shameless dictator who has thrived by DIVING and "uniting" and DIVIDING and "uniting" Zimbabweans. Everything has a lifespan Bob.
Stan, Zimbabwe

I am completely amazed that what appeared to be a once rational man has become such a bigot, racist, corrupt, power-crazed mad man.

Kathy Ellison, England
Well, all I can say is GOOD RIDDANCE - he started out quite well and then went on to completely ruin an already economically stable country - and a beautiful one at that! Having seen interviews with him in the last few months I am completely amazed that what appeared to be a once rational man has become such a bigot, racist, corrupt, power-crazed mad man and all to the determent of the people of Zimbabwe!
Kathy Ellison, England (originally from Zimbabwe)

To my fellow countrymen who took a brave step forward - I am proud! Proud to be a white Zimbabwean and have pride in the knowledge that Zimbabweans, black and white, can unite despite Mugabe's intent on making the racist problem worse.
Dean, UK

Well finally the people of Zimbabwe are getting a voice in this ordeal. One thing that bothers me is the involvement from South Africa's President Mbeki. How can someone of such nature try to resolve Zimbabwe's problems, when his own government is creating a mess of South Africa i.e. the medical/education system.
Mac, South Africa

He must leave the leadership of Zimbabwe to the young and dynamic generation. The sooner the better

Akello Grace, Uganda
President Mugabe could be likened to the late Mobutu of DRC. He is among the archaic leaders whom the process of "natural selection in the political realm" is helping Africa deal with. Although his health may be sound, his run-off the mill policies and lies are now very easily assessed by the younger generation. He must leave the leadership of Zimbabwe to the young and dynamic generation. The sooner the better.
Akello Grace, Uganda

Is this the curse of Africa? - The prevalence of tyrannical or autocratic leaders who can only be driven out in disgrace after they have destroyed or made worse the very institutions they were elected to uphold and preserve.
Oluwole, USA

Lets vote for a change. We need new blood.

Chris Chisvo, Zimbabwe
Well. Well. This is one step done. Zimbabweans you have done one good thing, but you have started something else. You heard him, "We will use the old constitution." This will continue to expose us to the old system that has bled this country to its near death situation we see today. So Zimbabweans, you have to finish of what you have started, else we are going further down. Sometimes I look at our history. We have been such a proud nation. We have been doing well. Lets finish it all now. Lets vote for a change. We need new blood.
Chris Chisvo, Zimbabwe

The people of Zimbabwe have cast a vote. The new millennium brings hope. The world holds its collective breath; will justice prevail or will Zimbabwe, like so many countries suffer the indignation of bloodshed and poverty, due to the few privileged who insist that their voice of reason stands firm and not the minds of the strong and diligent people that make up this great house of stone.
Regulator, Canada

Zimbabweans beware! A cornered animal is at it's most dangerous. Mugabe is now not only fighting for his political life but he now realises that if he loses power, which must be very soon, the people of Zimbabwe will demand that the financial state of he, his relatives and ministers must be investigated. Zimbabwe, once the Jewel of Africa, with one of the most industrious labour forces in the continent is a pauper and he and wife are able to shop at Harrods. Tell me where does he get the money?
Chas, Zimbabwe

Instead of commending him for this symbol of democracy, Robert Mugabe is bearing insults instead.

Frank Ouma-Okot, Canada
How stupid are we Africans, swallowing so much trash written by Western media that is waging a war against President Robert Mugabe for no other reason other than his commitment to his country and Africa as a whole. Instead of commending him for this symbol of democracy, Robert Mugabe is bearing insults instead. If Zimbabweans think things will be much better after Mugabe, they are in for a deep shock. It is time for Mugabe to put up fight for his own survival, whether it means spilling some blood of the people who are so brainwashed and stupid.
Frank Ouma-Okot, Canada

Mere words cannot explain how exciting it gets when I think of the departure of this African totalitarian who has encumbered the development of Zimbabwean people. His departure will be of an asset to Zimbabweans and other peoples of Africa. Good Job and good luck on your long way to victory. A battle for a cause is never tedious.
Ron Bara, USA

The turmoil that Zimbabwe is undergoing as it struggles to redefine itself have only just begun. Is the 'No' vote simply a ploy for credibility in the April elections? Will the embattled government reconstitute fair a constitution-making process? Are Zimbabweans prepared to take further action if things go sour, as they are not entirely unlikely to do? Congratulations are due, but the fight to save the country is in its infancy.
Rutendo Mushambi, UK

Ridding yourself of Bob will be a tough enough job. Making sure another corrupt despot doesn't take his place is another.

Neil, UK and USA
Be careful Zimbabwe. Ridding yourself of Bob will be a tough enough job. Making sure another corrupt despot doesn't take his place is another. Having spent time living and working in Zimbabwe, I know the immense potential you have to become an economic power in Africa. This won't go unnoticed by all the other power and money hungry politicians in Zimbabwe. The only people who can put Zimbabwe where it ought to be are Zimbabweans.
Neil, UK and USA

Zimbabwe, the land of my birth. Tears roll when I remember your beauty. But you have been bound for 20 years by a government that has betrayed its people. Zimbabwe will raise again. Now is the time for Zimbabweans to pray for a miracle. Zimbabwe will belong to its people again and the jewel of Africa will retain its glory.
Chioneso, UK

There is hope! Congratulations, Zimbabwe. The first step down the long road of removing a tyrant has been taken. It will not be an easy road, but the Zimbabwean Spirit will triumph. Patience and perseverance will be needed.
Joe Syslo, USA

If after 19 years you have not finished achieving your aims, what is the likelihood that it will ever be achieved at all?

Ukauwa Kenneth, United States
Africans are grateful of Mugabe's role in the political emancipation of Zimbabwe but the country must now move on without him.
Mugabe should stop being greedy and give a new generation of politicians a chance to try their own ideas. He should note that the longer he stays in power the greater his respect and contributions towards the emancipation of Zimbabwe diminishes.
So, Mr. president, preserve your dignity and hand over. Like the saying goes 'pride comes before the fall'. If after 19 years you have not finished achieving your aims, what is the likelihood that it will ever be achieved at all?
Ukauwa Kenneth, United States

At the beginning of the 21st century, surely despots and tyrants like Robert Mugabe should have no legitimate presence in politics. His presence as a corrupt statesman ensures that any economic revival remains a distant dream. Come on Zimbabwe - you have so much more to offer!
Mike Rossouw, UK

It's about time that the old guy should know that his days are numbered and that the Zimbabwean masses have finally awoken. They better walk the distance.
Simba, USA

Greedy wrinkled old men who refuse to step down gracefully make my blood boil.

TQ, Australia
I am a Zimbabwean and have great love for my country, but how long are we going to put up with this filth that clogs our beautiful country. Corruption, mismanagement and greedy wrinkled old men who refuse to step down gracefully makes my blood boil with fury that a handful of selfish individuals are willing to fatten their pockets at the expense of a whole nation.
Well I refuse to be another casualty. I say let's all go out there and vote not just for our selves but for all those we love back home and for our unborn children, so that they may enter the world without the worries we have had to endure. I say to the old roaches in parliament "what goes around comes around". For real!
TQ, Australia

Well done Zimbabweans. This is the first step you have taken in getting rid of this monster, Mugabe. Come election time, lets all go and vote Zanu PF out. We can no longer watch and see our country go to the dogs. Enough is enough!!!!!!!!!!
Wellington (Zimbabwean), UK

Good good! The people of Zimbabwe have shown him his correct calendar. His days are indeed running out. Even his friend president Chiluba of Zambia Was sent rushing to lay a foundation stone for his departure upon receipt of news of Mugabe's defeat. We urge all Zambians and Namibians to learn from our brothers in Zimbabwe and so should the citizens of Kenya
Mapenzi Hamatwi, Zambia

Having lived in Zimbabwe till August 1999 and having seen what is happening to that beautiful country we can only hope that Bob's days are numbered, maybe then the people of Zimbabwe can look forward to the future, and not to their next meal.
I Cory, UK

A first for Africa. I hope the new winds of change are strong enough to re-establish old fashioned professional values in the public service and that the still to be resolved problems of the country, including the land question, can be resolved.
Howard Read, Zimbabwe and New Zealand

"The People Have Spoken"
Dia, UK

I wish I could see him and say: "You've come a long way, Mr President, just listen to the voice of reason." Robert Mugabe, one of the outspoken critics of Nigeria's Abacha, the ruthless wanna-be patriot, who took the wealth of his Nation for "political gamble".
Tajudeen Isiaka, Nigeria

Good work, Zim voters! You've taken the first small step. Now buckle down and begin the long process of ridding yourselves of this government. Maybe not this year, maybe not even in 2002, but eventually you will triumph. Now that you know your own strength, it's only a matter of time before the sun shines again.
B. Nuechterlein, USA

There is much work to be done... NOW is the time to start!

Alex Booyse, UK
The Old Lion has lost his teeth. But the rats in his employment have not. They are afraid, and will do what ever they can to keep their position. Any potential leader has been done away with. All blame has been laid at the feet of others. I am proud of my fellow Zimbabweans. But please don't just empty the seat, fill it with a good leader, Or another rat will seek it for its own. There is much work to be done... NOW is the time to start!
Alex Booyse, UK

Zimbabwe - my home; I feel so sad every time Zimbabwe comes into a conversation. The damage has been done and it is now time for us to face up to reality and do something about the situation that Mugabe and his government have put us in as a nation. The only way to do this is to come together and stop using our race as an excuse. In the end we all want the same thing, a Zimbabwe where there are equal job opportunities and a stable environment for our children to grow up in. Otherwise what will a future in Zimbabwe hold for them. Remember always that change is good.
Debra, Australia

A ray of light for Zimbabweans. An appropriate time to dethrone this despotic tyrant. Come on guys at least you have started somewhere. It's time for a revolution. This ain't no monarchy. Leadership will only become true leadership when you pass it on to a successor with brand new ideas. If one fails to, then there is no other option but to uproot and overthrow!
Chimandirivha, USA

If the people of Zimbabwe finally boot him out he will have no legacy at all.

R. Whitehead, USA
As a born Rhodesian and person who still has a deep love for Zimbabwe I am uplifted by the results of the referendum and believe that it is now time for Mugabe to bow out gracefully with at least some of his honour intact. If the people of Zimbabwe finally boot him out he will have no legacy at all.
R. Whitehead, USA

Mugabe must surely go. Even God himself should not rule over 10 years in Africa. As someone who has visited Zimbabwe for several times during the last several years, I love the country and the people and their potential. But that potential has been stifled by Mugabe and his ruling party. I admire him for his courage in the fight for independence. However, as an Ethiopian I am very sad that he has allowed Mengistu, a virulent and brutal dictator sanctuary in his country. In despite of it, however, Mugabe and his likes, the so-called elder statesmen have to go.
Gebregoeorgis Yohannes, Ehiopia -living in the USA

This vote signals the fight for the soul of a nation. There is hope on the horizons. I believe that Zimbabwe now faces a great challenge to rid the country of much of its evils. Ladies and Gentlemen, the sooner the better.
Tichahwina Chete, USA

The vote by the Zimbabwean people brings about a new era. Hope is on the horizon. It is time that Zimbabwean people become the true guardians of their freedom. This is a win - win situation
Tichahwana Chete, USA

It is time that Zimbabwean people become the true guardians of their freedom.

Paul Burgess, Scotland
As a recent first-time visitor to Zimbabwe, I have to say my impression is of a beautiful country ruined through poor economic management. Now I see how far some people will go in attempt to manipulate election results and hold onto power, while at the same time depriving the majority of their citizens of a decent standard of living, I despair. I applaud the fact every attempt was made to overcome the blatant attempts to rig the referendum elections, and would hope that sense will prevail in April's elections - assuming, of course that they aren't "postponed". Good luck to all in Zimbabwe - we in the west are watching with our fingers crossed.
Paul Burgess, Scotland

It is perhaps true that the first shot has been fired in a long and perhaps bloody regeneration of a once great country. For those filled with optimism please prepare yourself for a period where things are sure to get worse before they get better. Like a rat leaving a sinking ship Mugabe is sure to plunder what little remains of Zimbabwe's dwindling assets to secure for him a comfortable retirement. He still has 2 years in power and is unlikely to go quietly.
Robert Wakefield, Bahrain

If anyone thinks this man will step down and ride peacefully into the sunset, then they are in for a big surprise. Power and money are not given up that easy.
GK, USA

Viva Zimbabwe! Viva democracy! One down two (Mugabe and Zanu) to go.
Senzige, Tanzanian in UK

Africa needs some new and young leaders. It is ok if Mugabe is gone, why would anyone want to be on power forever? Wake up Africa...
Thierry, Canada

Beloved Country - Salute a Wakened Nation!

Gabangaye Psimon KaNdlovu, RSA
Cry The Beloved Country - Salute a Wakened Nation! Congratulations Zimbabwe on your rebirth. We want to put the Matabeleland massacre behind us but your continued presence in power makes our wisdom and patriotism a shame. To white Zimbabweans, I say go nowhere - let us be one and get young blood to rule SA which has set an example - the results speak volumes.
Gabangaye Psimon KaNdlovu, RSA

The goal by Zimbabweans, unlike the foreigners is not to get rid of Mugabe, but rather to make Zimbabwe a better place for the majority. Mugabe will continue to be President for as long as the majority feels he is good for their cause. Zimbabweans elected Mugabe to be President until 2002. The rejected constitution would have forced an early presidential election. As it stands, we all have to wait until 2002, unless of course Mugabe himself decides to step down. Those who think Mugabe's days are numbered are looking at a very big number!
Kariga Mombe, Zimbabwe

I hope that this is the beginning of change for my country. Mugabe has done nothing for our people except to make life even more difficult. It's time that Zanu (PF) was removed from power maybe as we begin a new millennium the nation might have hope of a better future. Anyone other than Mugabe and his fellow thieves is better.
Ngqabutho Hlabangana, Zimbabwe

What a triumph to see the end of this evil dictator who has bled the country dry of all it's resources and wealth.

JB, UK
What a triumph to see the end of this evil dictator who has bled the country dry of all it's resources and wealth. His defeat would be the beginning of a long road for Zimbabwe whose infrastructure is non-existent. They are not going to be able to re-build their democracy or economy without help from aid, I think we should give them all we can. Removing Mugabe is the best move and surely there is not enough of the country left for the next leadership to see as an opportunity for exploitation.
JB, UK

Point of correction, Under the present constitution Mugabe's post is not up for grabs until the year 2002. He is still in power and will be choosing the next cabinet. Judging from the results if these were parliamentary seats then Zanu PF would have won. Just see how many constituencies voted yes. There is still a lot of work to be done by the opposition.
Larry, Zimbabwe

This is a great tribute to the people of Zimbabwe. This is a people who continue to endure unprecedented levels of state-sanctioned abuse. It's time for the dictator to go. Nevertheless, we are increasingly desperate for our land.
Themba Nzima, Zimbabwe

Those who believe Mugabe will be humiliated out of office are simply fooling themselves. Mugabe will forever remain The Liberator in the eyes of long-suffering Black Zimbabweans. Zimbabweans, not foreigners and especially not Britain will ensure he is replaced when the right time comes. That time is not April 2000.
Nqobile Mnguni, S Africa/Zimbabwe

Zimbabweans have managed to take a step back from the abyss and at the same time give themselves a ray of hope

RL, Zimbabwe
Amazing...Zimbabweans have managed to take a step back from the abyss and at the same time give themselves a ray of hope at the end of the darkest tunnel this country has been submerged into.. Goes to show you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
RL, Zimbabwe

In Namibia, we are joyfully learned how Zimbabwean brothers and sisters have given a correct "NO" vote. We know that leaders in this country look to Mugabe as their idol and role model. Without Mugabe come next April, we can only hope for a positive change here as well.
Mr FF, Namibia

Anybody who thinks only the removal of Mugabe is panacea for Zimbabwe's problems is daydreaming.

Jupiter Punungwe, Zimbabwe
Mugabe has lost the referendum vote lately because of the present economic hardships. Barring the economic hardship I am sure he would win any election because, to be very, very frank, he is the only leader who takes a stance on issues at the heart of most Zimbabweans. The paramount of these issues is fair and equitable land redistribution. Anybody who thinks only the removal of Mugabe is panacea for Zimbabwe's problems is daydreaming. So while we rejoice at the referendum result, let's not for a moment fool ourselves into believing that removing Mugabe will suddenly wave a magic wand over all of Zimbabwe's problems. The leadership quality is only one of the many problems. And Zimbabweans still need to work hard to solve the rest. I am a realist.
Jupiter Punungwe, Zimbabwe

Though I am not a Zimbabwean but lived there for five years as a student in the university and have been following the politics of that country very closely. In my view it is high time for the opposition to unite and bring the consensus candidates in the coming elections which is very difficult and next to impossible looking at the nature of the politicians of this country. If they will not unite this is the last victory for the opposition. They should learn from the mistake of opposition in Kenya.
Zargham, Germany

I look forward to the day that he is ousted as President and he makes a visit to the UK. Will Jack Straw place him under arrest, charged with human rights violations?

Roy Chapman, UK / Germany
I look forward to the day that he is ousted as President and he makes a visit to the UK. Will Jack Straw place him under arrest, charged with human rights violations? I also look forward to the day, sadly a long way off, that a respected historian compares life under his regime with that of his predecessor and decides which was best for the country. I suspect a totally politically incorrect conclusion will be drawn.
Roy Chapman, UK / Germany

Minister Chitauro said Whites from South Africa came to vote but didn't Jonathan Moyo the Constitutional Commission's spokesman come from South Africa and has been a visiting professor from the Wits University for the past year. Congratulations all Zimbabweans who rejected the fake document. But we still want our land back.
P. Makoni, Zimbabwe

I live for tomorrow not for yesterday. I know that things were bad in 1970 but that's past.. I felt so good when I went to the polling station.. Everyone was there, black, white... everyone voting and expressing there needs. Now let's work together because Zimbabwe has a lot of potential to grow┐ Stay positive
Chris Mortimer, Zimbabwe

Yellow card in February; Red card in April! The people have given notice

Sa Mutoko, Zimbabwe
In Shona one of the ethnic languages of Zimbabwe we say "Chinobhuruka chinomhara" in other words "what flies with wings shall land to the ground". It's inevitable that his time in days are numbered so we wait till April. To all Zimbabweans the struggle continues and thanks for the results.
Samanyika from Mutare, Zimbabwean in the USA

I am a Zimbabwean currently based in the UK. I had thought there was no hope for my family back home and that things were spiralling downwards. However today my chest has swelled with pride in that Zimbabweans, black and white, can unite despite Mugabe's intent on making the racist problem worse! Well done my fellow Zimbabweans and roll on the elections!
Stuart, Britain

Those who are writing Mugabe's epitaph should think twice before being overly confident. Most Zimbabweans have a love-hate relationship with Mugabe

Tapuwa Tavaziva, USA
Congratulations to the 'no' vote! In my view this referendum had little to do with the draft constitution but more to do with how Zimbabweans are being governed. Zimbabweans resented being taken for granted and not having enough time to study the new constitution. Those who are writing Mugabe's epitaph should think twice before being overly confident. Most Zimbabweans have a love-hate relationship with Mugabe. They are supremely proud of him for standing up to those who oppressed us.
This is a good time for the opposition to show us their Constitution and also tell us how they are going to govern. We know what is wrong with the present government so do not make blame your chorus. Blame is the last refuge of the defeated. In the meantime savour your victory.
Tapuwa Tavaziva, USA

I hope this is another signal to those inept, corrupt, and selfish African leaders that they can only fool the people for so long. Yes there are still (and will probably always remain) the insidious foreign influence in African countries), the point is they will always achieve success as long as leaders such as Mugabe remain in power. Africa needs leaders with her best interest in mind, not those of others or themselves.
Abdul Waziri, USA

If the people lead, the leaders will follow!
Richard U. Agesa, Kenyan, resident in the United States

Well, I wish to congratulate my fellow Zimbabweans for having succeeded in liberating themselves from the well planned misrule of Mugabe and his old and corrupt chosen few. Mugabe is very intelligent but he has failed to lead the people of Zimbabwe and for that its time for him to go. Mugabe does not listen to anyone, he is one track-minded, that is not what democracy is all about.
Chinyokoto, Zimbabwe

President Mugabe it is time to go. What else you want?

Mustapha Karkouti, UK
President Mugabe it is time to go. What else you want? You've had it for more than two decades. I followed you closely during Lancester House negotiation, as a journalist, you have played your historic role and ruled for far too long. Give Zimbabwe a chance to survive. So I would suggest that you leave with what the remaining dignity, other wise you will be kicked out eventually. The history is full of lessons.
Mustapha Karkouti, UK

Mr Mugabe is a pathetic leader, corrupted through and through. As they say, power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. He should be held responsible for the state the country is in.
Len Tarivonda, Vanuatu, South Pacific

The fact that we have rejected the doctored constitution draft should not be read as a NO to land distribution. We are simply saying no to dictatorship and corrupt governments that have no respect for human rights and what their citizens think. I salute the people who have made a choice and I salute and hope that the Zimbabwean government will respect that.
Louise Maramba, Zimbabwe

President Mugabe never has been a democrat. He was good chums with the Soviet Union, ruthless in getting rid of his political enemies and has shown himself to be a racist towards Africans white and black. I think President Mugabe┤s departure will herald better times for Zimbabwe. And please, let us not remember him as a "grand old man", or we could as well include Idi Amin Dada to that category. One renegade Marxist less in Africa, hooray!
A.H. van Ginkel, Netherlands

This is indeed the first round in getting rid of Mugabe. Second round in April to oust Zanu PF. Zimbabwe has finally woke up from its political apathy ! Hooray for Zimbabwe
Tjalling Yme Wiarda, Netherlands

Congratulations to Zimbabwe. This result and the whole setting means that Africa is getting more and more democratic.
Leo Schellekens, Kenya

Now is the time for the people of Zimbabwe to bring in a president and a government that they and the country deserve.

James Eaton, USA
The unfolding saga of what is happening in Zimbabwe is interesting from the perspective of evaluating just how far people are prepared to be manipulated in politics before resorting to counter measures. Zimbabwe has great natural resources and a wonderful potential to become a self supporting country that does not rely on outside aid.
Now is the time for the people of Zimbabwe to bring in a president and a government that they and the country deserve.
James Eaton, USA

To Peter Kohler, some of the problems of Africa can be attributed to the role the colonialists played. Mind you look at the mess in Rwnada, Burundi and look what your country did by supporting UNITA. Anyway, I am happy Bob lost the vote and it is a sign that his days are numbered. Start looking for a place to run." Nguva yako yasvika". In Shona it means that your time is up.
A Zimbabwean in the USA

By and large nations get the leaders they deserve, and Zimbabwe is no different. An apathetic electorate, easily intimidated, has over two decades spawned a slovenly and ultimately bankrupt government. Today, however, Zimbabweans finally and collectively stood up and said "enough". Let us hope they now get the leadership and vision their courage deserves.
Mark Bradshaw, Zimbabwe

The man has done his job for the country but his time is now over. He should retire and leave the running of the nation to younger people.
Greg Nyajena, UK

He has nothing more to offer. Let the people have a change even if for the sake of it.

Solomon Tatah, Switzerland
President Mugabe is advised to step down honourably by resigning from office, rather than wait until he is defeated in the April elections. He has had enough years in office. I think it is but logical that the people of Zimbabwe need a change of leader after 20 years of Mugabe. He has nothing more to offer. Let the people have a change even if for the sake of it.
Solomon Tatah, Switzerland

The "NO" vote is a victory for all Zimbabweans, even the poor ones out in the rural areas who ignorantly voted "no." They are no doubt driven by the promise of land, but they fail to see that it is just a way for Mugabe to buy their vote and entrench himself in power. I agree it's time stop pointing fingers at white people and address the leadership's own shortcomings.
Sindile Mhlanga, USA

The Beginning of the finale. The first nail has been hammered on Mugabe and his regime's coffin, it's time to pay our last respects. An enemy of an enemy is a friend and your government have been an enemy to us Zimbabweans and our friends abroad. Farewell to the constitution and thanks for nothing for the 4000 commissioners.
Murehwa, Zimbabwe

It's time for him to go...the days are numbered for the last African dictator.

Vittorio Silvestri, Eritrea
It's time for him to go...the days are numbered for the last African dictator, together with Moi and a few others. Then, maybe, the new president will take the country to democracy and give back Menghistu Haile Mariam, the worst of all of them, to be judged by an international court.
Vittorio Silvestri, Eritrea

Mugabe's days are numbered its high time he goes, the winds of change are sweeping through the land.
Dez, UK

One of Mugabe's strongest campaigning strategies in the past has been the withdrawal of people's memories to the liberation struggle and what role his party played. As the civil war moves further back in history so does his power.
Gone are the days when Zimbabweans could stand and watch. It looks like it's now inevitable that Bob (Mugabe) will sooner not later, follow the footsteps of Kaunda if he is lucky. It could be Kamuzu Banda or even worse still Mobutu.
Kupa Samanyika, UK

I just want to end up by congratulating my fellow Zimbabweans who voted no.

CCN, Zimbabwe
This is surely sweet victory for the people of Zimbabwe who have for a long time been silent whilst their country has been given to the dogs and fortunes embezzled. The draft constitution that was being proposed was hurriedly put together without consideration of the thousands of letters that had been invited by the commission. That draft was simply manufactured in the Zanu (PF) quaters with their own interests at heart.
The government's remarks during the referendum, Cde F. Chitauro, " We suspect that these whites are ex-Rhodesians who have come back to make point," is tantamount to racism. Is it not the Government that called on all Zimbabweans to vote?
I just want to end up by congratulating my fellow Zimbabweans who voted no, and to those who voted yes, I want say to you, "See the light before it's too late. Let us unite during the elections and get rid of Mugabe and his cronies".
CCN, Zimbabwe

HHHHHHooooooooRRRRRRaaaaaaYYYYY. It seemed inevitable that that corrupt, tinpot dictator would have his say once more. But the people of Zimbabwe have once again shown their will. It takes a lot to make Zimbabweans seek change, but when they do, the force is overwhelming. Down with arrogant megalomaniacs, we are better off without you Bob.
James Maxwell, UK (from Zimbabwe)

Are the days of one of Africa's last, pathetic Marxist-Leninists numbered? One can only hope so. Maybe, just maybe, Africans will start holding their own leaders accountable for the dismal conditions they have wrought themselves without predictably blaming it on the evil White Man. Africa has been in charge of its own destiny for too long to continue the blame game.
Peter Kohler, USA

How can people take him seriously as a president, when he wins the state run lottery?
Mike Firth, USA

President Mugabe will do well to remember that "pride goes before a fall". He and his cohorts were supremely confident of victory, forgetting that power flows from the people. His latest attempt to betray the trust endowed on him in 1980 was summarily rejected by a landslide. President Mugabe, remember Pinochet, remember Babangida, remember that no condition is permanent. Your days in power are numbered.
Ude Eko, Nigeria (resident in US)

See also:

15 Feb 00 | Africa
15 Feb 00 | Africa
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