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Debate: THBT Robert Mugabe should not be a president again

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Background and Context of Debate:

The Republic of Zimbabwe held a presidential election along with a parliamentary election on March 29, 2008. The three major candidates were incumbent President Robert Mugabe of the Zimbabwe African National Union - Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF), Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), and Simba Makoni, an independent. As no candidate received an outright majority in the first round, a second round was held on June 27, 2008 between Tsvangirai (with 47.9% of the first round vote) and Mugabe (43.2%). Tsvangirai withdrew from the second round a week before it was scheduled to take place, citing violence against his party's supporters. The second round went ahead, despite widespread criticism, and led to victory for Mugabe.


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Robert Mugabe is not a good president

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Yes

There are many problems in Mugabe's Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe once was hailed as a symbol of the new Africa, but under his rule the health and well-being of his people have dropped dramatically, which is as much an abuse of human rights as arbitrary arrest and torture. That is a tragedy, because Mugabe and his cronies are chiefly responsible for an economic meltdown that has turned one of Africa's most prosperous countries into a country with one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. Since 1994, the average life expectancy in Zimbabwe has fallen from 57 years to 34 years for women and from 54 years to 37 years for men. Some 3,500 Zimbabweans die every week from the combined effects of HIV/AIDS, poverty, and malnutrition. Half a million Zimbabweans may have died already.

A few well-known statistics provide an insight into life in Zimbabwe.

  • Between 1999 and 2003, the economy contracted by over 30 percent.
  • Unemployment stood at 80 percent of the economically active population in 2004.
  • Per capita income was lower in 2004 than in 1980 -- the year Mugabe came to power.
  • Life expectancy fell from 56 years in 1985 to 33 years in 2003.
  • After rising to 500 percent in 2004, triple digit inflation continued in 2005.
  • Foreign direct investment and tourism plummeted.
  • In January 2005, over half of Zimbabwe's population needed emergency food aid.
  • Out of a population of 12 million, between 3 and 4 million Zimbabweans emigrated abroad.



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No

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People were being forced to vote for Mugabe

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Yes

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No

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Yes

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No

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