Zimbabwe's Mugabe invokes 1980s imagery in election campaign

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Zimbabwe's ruling party is hoping a campaign using old images of a younger and more virile President Robert Mugabe will be enough to sway voters in the nation's upcoming election. Is it a savvy move or desperate act of a waning dictatorship?




The whole country will vote ZANU-PF back into government ... back into government in an atmosphere of peace.

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe

If Robert Mugabe sounds as if he's lost some of his fire ... Well, he is 89 years old. And it seems that even his party, ZANU-PF, knows the Zimbabwean president is no longer the energetic hero of the liberation struggle.

Mugabe's latest campaign posters portray him in images from decades ago when he still projected energy. But with an election just one day away, voters in Harare are well aware of the discrepancy between the poster and the man.

Is using imagery from the 1980s a savvy or desperate move? We heard from:

  • Dumisani Muleya: The editor of Zimbabwe Independent, a weekly broadsheet, says ZANU-PF has turned to old photos to counter jabs about Mugabe's age.

  • Former diplomat Clifford Mashiri: He's now a political analyst in the U.K., but in the early 1980s, Clifford Mashiri was swept up in the Zanu-PF's independence movement. Now, however, he understands that Mugabe is aging and will eventually pass away.

  • Den Moyo: He's the Chairman of the Movement for Democratic Change's USA Branch and believes that this election is a chance for change in Zimbabwe.
This segment was produced by The Current's Jessica deMello, Karin Marley and Idella Sturino.

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