Mugabe to Face Rare Challenger

Ex-minister seeks to end 28 years of brutal rule in Zimbabwe
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 6, 2008 12:55 PM CST
Vengai Chigaramumba has a close look at the new ten million dollar note introduced by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe, Friday, January, 18, 2008. The bank released the new ten million dollar note, which...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – A deposed finance minister has announced he will run for president of Zimbabwe in elections next month, a rare challenge to Robert Mugabe, who has ruled the country since 1980. Simba Makoni tried to push through reforms to slow Zimbabwe's economic collapse, the Times of London reports, but was sacked by Mugabe, who called him an "economic saboteur."

Makoni said several senior figures within the ruling Zanu party are backing his candidacy, and a faction of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change has given him its support. But while the hunger for change in Zimbabwe is strong, observers warn that Makoni still faces an uphill battle. "This is not going to be a tea party," one says.