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Because of the growing humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe, which has been spurred by a lack of water and the rapid spread of deadly cholera, Robert Mugabe is facing increased pressure to step down as President.

The world consensus suggests that the iron-fisted leader has grown harmful as a political agent, and unrealistic about the solutions for disease, and sovereignty. Mugabe, now 84 years old, has ruled Zimbabwe since its independence from British Rule in 1980. The opposition leaders who oppose him are typically exiled, or threatened with police action in their homes, and at civil gatherings. 

He has repeated the declaration that he has no plans to step down, going as far as saying that “only God who appointed me will remove me.” Both Condoleezza Rice and President Bush joined the chorus of leaders who have denounced Mugabe’s scare tactics and irresponsible rule. Gordon Brown, prime minister of Britain, and French president Nicolas Sarkozy have also spoken disparaging words about the Zimbabwean leader. 

Mugabe forestalled several negotiations with the Movement for Democratic Change after a hotly contested election, in which their leader secured enough votes to sink Mugabe’s Parliament. A presidential runoff ensued, and Morgan Tsvangirai (of MDC) withdrew pending threats to his followers before the race. Jestina Mukoko, of the Zimbabwe Peace Project, has also been detained against her will by Zimbabwe police. Amnesty International has issued a call for her release.

Throughout the struggle, Mugabe has been famously obstinate about relinquishing what has been his quarter century throne. He agreed to a power-sharing deal with the MDC, but has been purposely sluggish in its execution. However, the U.N., along with more powerful Western nations who could provide medical relief for the spiking cholera epidemic, hold the key to the ouster of the dictator.

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