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Zimbabwean Stakes: THE HINDU EDITORIAL

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Zimbabwean Stakes: THE HINDU EDITORIAL

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe’s decision to fire his Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa, citing disloyalty and deceitfulness, has triggered another political crisis ahead of next year’s presidential election. Mr. Mnangagwa was Mr. Mugabe’s right-hand man in the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF) and was widely tipped to be his successor. But there were murmurs in recent months that Mr. Mnangagwa and Grace Mugabe, the President’s second wife, were involved in a shadow fight for influence. The Zanu-PF has announced that the 93-year-old Mr. Mugabe will be its presidential candidate for next year’s election. But given his age and health, in the event of a victory the Vice-President’s post would set up the incumbent for the big succession. By firing Mr. Mnangagwa, Mr. Mugabe appears to have turned the tide in favour of his wife. Ruling party factions have started promoting Ms. Mugabe’s name as the next Vice-President and the party is expected to make an announcement next month. The Zanu-PF has also launched a crackdown on those who were linked to Mr. Mnangagwa, who has fled the country. Mr. Mnangagwa’s exit could hurt the President politically. He has been a heavyweight in the faction-ridden Zanu-PF for a long time. 
He is being alienated at a time when a seven-party Opposition alliance was planning a joint candidate against Mr. Mugabe to capitalise on the widespread public discord over economic miseries. Mr. Mugabe, a former Marxist guerrilla who came to power in 1980 riding on strong anti-colonial sentiments and promises to reshape the country’s future, has instead overseen a rapid deterioration of the economy in recent years. Following unbridled hyperinflation, Zimbabwe had to scrap its dollar altogether in 2015 and adopt a multi-currency system, which has done little to ease cash shortages. The country’s infrastructure is crumbling and government services are a shambles. But public resentment and opposition unity may not necessarily lead to Mr. Mugabe’s electoral defeat. In the 37 years of his rule he has shown that he enjoys considerable support, particularly among the black working population, and is ready to go to any extreme to retain his grip on power. Barring a brief period when he was forced to reach a power-sharing agreement with the opposition, Mr. Mugabe has largely had his own way in governance. The stakes are high in the coming election, with Ms. Mugabe having publicly expressed her desire to succeed the President and the Zanu-PF facing a split after Mr. Mnangagwa’s expulsion. All this points to more chaos, at a time when the government’s focus should be on addressing the economic challenges. For his part, Mr. Mugabe should allow a free and fair election to take place next year and ensure a smooth transition of power, both within the party and in the government. It’s time he finally acted like a statesman.

Learn Vocabulary from THE HINDU EDITORIAL

1) Deceitfulness
Meaning: Guilty of or involving deceit; deceiving or misleading others.
Example: “a deceitful politician”
Synonyms: Dishonest, Untruthful
Antonyms: Honest, True
2) Triggered
Meaning: Cause (an event or situation) to happen or exist.
Example: “an allergy can be triggered by stress or overwork”
Synonyms: Precipitate, Prompt
3) Tipped
Meaning: Be or cause to be in a sloping position with one end or side higher than the other.
Example: “I tipped my seat back, preparing myself for sleep”
Synonyms: Incline, Slope
Antonyms: Level, Right
4) Murmurs
Meaning: Say something in a low or indistinct voice.
Example: “Nina murmured an excuse and hurried away”
Synonyms: Complain, Grumble
5) Incumbent
Meaning: Necessary for (someone) as a duty or responsibility.
Example: “the government realized that it was incumbent on them to act”
Synonyms: Obligatory, Mandatory
Antonyms: Optional
6) Crackdown
Meaning: A series of severe measures to restrict undesirable or illegal people or behaviour.
Example: “a crackdown on car crime”
Synonyms: Clampdown, Elimination
7) Alienated
Meaning: Make (someone) feel isolated or estranged.
Example: “an urban environment which would alienate its inhabitants”
Synonyms: Estrange, Isolate
Antonyms: Unite
8) Unbridled
Meaning: Uncontrolled; unconstrained.
Example: “a moment of unbridled ambition”
Synonyms: Rampant, Uncontrolled
Antonyms: Restrained
9) Crumbling
Meaning: break or fall apart into small fragments, especially as part of a process of deterioration.
Example: “the plaster started to crumble”
Synonyms: Disintegrate, Fragment
Antonyms: Integrate
10) Shambles
Meaning: A state of total disorder.
Example: “my career was in a shambles”
Synonyms: Chaos, Muddle
11) Resentment
Meaning: Bitter indignation at having been treated unfairly.
Example: “his resentment at being demoted”
Synonyms: Bitterness, Indignation
Antonyms: Contentment, Happiness
12) Barring
Meaning: Except for; if not for.
Example: “barring accidents, we should win”
Synonyms: Except, Excluding
Antonyms: Include
13) Brewing
Meaning: (of an unwelcome event or situation) begin to develop.
Example: “there was more trouble brewing as the miners went on strike”
Synonyms: Develop, Impend
14) Spearheaded
Meaning: Lead (an attack or movement).
Example: “he’s spearheading a campaign to reduce the number of accidents at work”
Synonyms: Lead, Front
15) Clergy
Meaning: The body of all people ordained for religious duties, especially in the Christian Church.
Example: “all marriages were to be solemnized by the clergy”
Synonyms: Priest, Bishop
Antonyms: Laity
16) Amass
Meaning: Gather together or accumulate (a large amount or number of material or things) over a period of time.
Example: “he amassed a fortune estimated at close to a million pounds”
Synonyms: Gather, Collect
Antonyms: Dissipate
17) Consolidate
Meaning: Strengthen (one’s position or power).
Example: “the company consolidated its position in the international market”
Synonyms: Strengthen, Tighten
18) Ascended
Meaning: Go up or climb.
Example: “she ascended the stairs”
Synonyms: Arise, Conquer
Antonyms: Descend
19) Throne
Meaning: Used to signify sovereign power.
Example: “the heir to the throne”
Synonyms: Rule, Dominion
20) Disrupt
Meaning: Drastically alter or destroy the structure of; interrupt (an event, activity, or process) by causing a disturbance or problem.
Example: “alcohol can disrupt the chromosomes of an unfertilized egg”
Synonyms: Distort, Damage
Antonyms: Organize, Arrange
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