Mugabe - a Dictator Who Ruined a Nation; Zimbabwean Dr Ross G Cooper Decided to Quit His Homeland in the Face of Economic Disaster and Brutality Sweeping the Country. Now, the Birmingham-Based UCE Physiology Lecturer, Says the Time Is Overdue for Peaceful Protest and International Pressure against President Robert Mugabe and His Regime
Byline: Dr Ross G Cooper
Rhodesia transcended into an independent Zimbabwe in April 1980, and many people were determined to make a go of it, to build an economy that rapidly reached heights of economic prosperity.
It was deservedly called the breadbasket of Africa.
Robert Mugabe made speeches and implemented policies that seemingly encouraged this growth.
With time he began to reinforce his personal power and clearly had the aim of establishing himself as a one-party leader and President for life of ZANU-PF.
He could not fathom, nor accept, the referendum defeat he experienced in 2000 during which time Zimbabweans voted against him extending his term in office.
He then began a selfish and unnecessary campaign of violence against the productive agricultural sector and focused his attention on white farmers. Predictably and probably knowingly, Mugabe plunged the country into a state of complete and utter economic collapse, currently being listed as a country with the highest inflation rate (officially 1,700 per cent and growing monthly) and the lowest life expectancy in the world (37 for men, 34 for women).
The country has among the worse health care facilities in Africa, with many people having died while waiting in queues to see a doctor.
The country is plagued with rampant shortages of basic commodities, food, fuel and widespread power and water cuts.
What was once called the cleanest country in Africa is now rotting under a pile of rubbish, with disease rife.
Most people are forced to burn their litter in their back gardens.
Dead animals are not collected and rats are everywhere.
Roads are pot holed and drains are clogged with branches and mud, resulting in rivers of water flooding roads during the rainy season.
Drinking water, if available, has become unsafe to consume.
Crime has escalated to new and unfathomable heights, and people have been forced to buy their own generators to provide energy.
That is, of course, if they can afford it - and if the diesel is available to power the units.
Many industries have collapsed, having being supported by raw material from agriculture and the universities are virtually closed.
Investors have shied away, fearful of the misappropriation of their funds and lack of infrastructure.
Mugabe has always considered the used of violence acceptable against university students. Armed police have used teargas, combined with helicopter gunships and armoured vehicles, to break up peaceful demonstrations. In the past a number of students have died, including the President of the Students' Union, who was crushed under an army truck in 1992.
Travelling to Harare airport, a once flourishing tourist destination is now virtually deserted and devoid of aircraft, not helped by massive jet fuel shortages.
Mugabe has persecuted the media and instigated blatant racism. …