Maurice Gerard

Smoke and mirrors | 3 July 2008

Harare, Zimbabwe It’s smoke and mirrors for Zimbabweans. State-run TV has been blaring non-stop Mugabe’s statement that he is willing to sit down and negotiate with the opposition MDC – and would even accept a “unity” government, whatever that means. Tsvangirai is holding his ground; the capital’s more salubrious bars are a-buzz with speculation over

What will happen now?

Harare, Zimbabwe Post-election drama, Harare thrives once more. Market women back to selling vegetables on the street; businessmen in second-hand suits talking loudly into their mobile phones. Queues stretching round the block to use the cashpoint. The earnest business of survival begins for Zimbabweans once more. A Zanu-PF source informed me earlier today that Mugabe allies are negotiating

Mugabe’s victory: the aftermath

Mugabe’s inauguration was a closed affair. Judges in colonial era wigs and robes sat patiently whilst he spoke, whilst advisors and military personnel, bedecked in medals, marched and saluted him. The rest of Harare was indoors. Shops and businesses shut, even the ubiquitous money changers – now offering Z$50 billion to the pound – seemed

Race relations in Zimbabwe

Sometimes the façade cracks. Despite official rhetoric branding white Zimbabweans as everything from ‘traitors’ to (that perennial government favourite) ‘economic saboteurs’, race relations on the ground are quietly healthy. Even, it seems, amongst the shock-troops of Mugabe’s land grab: the infamous war veterans.   The epithet is somewhat elastic. Nowadays a good deal of the

The streets fall silent, as Zimbabweans head to the polls

Harare, Zimbabwe A battered peace holds on the streets and townships of Harare on poll day. After months of virulent political campaigning the streets have fallen silent; there are few cars on the road and the giant minibus station in the bustling Mbare township is empty. Polling stations – giant, white, marquee-like tents – have been set

Inside Zimbabwe

Many thanks to Maurice Gerard, who will be blogging for Coffee House from inside Zimbabwe over the next week.  Here’s his first post – Pete Hoskin Driving to Harare down acacia-lined highways from Zimbabwe’s border post at Victoria Falls and the casual visitor could almost mistake the country for being normal – albeit with occasional