As Robert Mugabe’s war against his political opponents—and anyone who supports them—intensifies in the run-up to the run-off, Royal African Society Director Richard Dowden breaks down the possible endgames for the London Times.
- Morgan Tsvangirai takes power, after winning a majority. Odds: zero. Even if Mugabe’s violent intimidation and vote rigging somehow fail, he won’t concede.
- Mugabe and Tsvangirai form a Kenyan-style unity government. Odds: less than zero. Neither side is interested.
- Mugabe wins. Odds: high. Zanu-PF will urge and, in many cases, force likely backers to vote. And, of course, harrass MDC voters.
- The armed forces get sick of not being paid, break into pro- and anti-Mugabe factions, and make Zimbabwe look like Somalia. Odds: Possible.
- A miracle happens. A key ally, say the finance minister, defects, and the house of cards collapses. Mugabe and his lieutenants go into exile and a national unity government succeeds them. Odds: with Southern Africa, you never know.