Zimbabwe has trended in the November 2020 United States election albeit for wrong reasons, specifically bad political culture.
The manner in which the outgoing president, Donald Trump, conducted himself on the aftermath of the election triggered comparison with Zimbabwe’s late veteran leader Robert Mugabe.
He claimed victory way before the counting of votes was over, dragged some states over alleged irregularities in the counting of votes and protested against the counting of votes prompting some to say he sought to cling on power at all costs.
Responding to Trump’s Press conference allegations of electoral fraud, former US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power drew similarities between Trump and former and Mugabe. Power tweeted that:
He is going full Robert Mugabe.
This was in reference to Mugabe’s long stay in power and refusal to leave office despite losing to his longest rival Morgan Tsvangirai at some point.
Richard Downes, a well-known Irish broadcaster and journalist echoed similar views tweeting that:
I’ve covered elections in many countries over many decades … the last time I remember a sitting president saying things like these was Zimbabwe in, I think, 2008.
Robert Swan Mueller, an American lawyer and former Special Counsel for the United States Department of Justice, likened Trump’s behaviour with that of opposition parties in Zimbabwe that cannot accept the outcome of elections.
NewsDay columnist Tapiwa Gomo it is sad that Zimbabwe has become a point of reference for political mischief. Gomo adds that it is imperative for Zimbabwe “to sanitise our political image for the sake of our dignity.”