Robert Mugabe has been in power for many decades. When he was first elected, he was indeed the saviour of his people. He (in his early years) helped many other African nations. He also led his people away from Apartheid and into freedom.
The problems began when he stayed in power for too long, and power has become all that is important to him.
This is exactly why he has such a hold over the people of Zimbabwe - he keeps telling them that it is Britain (and to a lesser extent USA) who is trying to take the country away from him and return it to British colonial rule. The Zimbabweans are so frightened of returning to Apartheid and British rule that they do not see the dictator for what he is! He is spreading countless lies and propaganda to ensure that he stays in power. He blames everything on Britain, even going so far as to tell his people that Gordon Brown is spreading Cholera in Zimbabwe so as to bring it to its knees and therefore allow Britain to take over once again.
Zimbabwe was once called The Breadbasket of Africa, now it is no longer capable of feeding its own people, let alone exporting the way it used to. Mugabe encouraged war veterans to violently take over all white owned farms - farmers were forcibly removed from their properties - they were beaten, raped and murdered and their farms over-run with veterans.
I completely agree that land in Zimbabwe needed to be returned to the African people it was stolen from years ago, but the manner in which it was handled is one of the reasons there is no longer food in Zimbabwe. Instead of letting the farmers teach the people how to farm, grow food and nurture the earth, they just brutally took the farms away from the farmers, and then left the veterans on the farms but without any support or training, or even finances to help them run them. So eventually the farms failed and the country starves.
There are many reasons why Zimbabwe is in trouble, but they all come back to Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF (his party) who have grown so rich and fat that they no longer see anything but money. It is terribly sad that countries across the world do not see the truth of what is happening in Zimbabwe - you only see pieces of it on the news rather than the full horror of what is taking place on the ground.
How is it possible that Grace Mugabe spends her time shopping at the finest boutiques in Europe and yet most Zimbabweans go for days without eating anything? Help should have come to Zimbabwe years ago - but it hasn't because we all look the other way. I am especially ashamed of the way my beloved South Africa has handled this crisis in Zimbabwe. The South African government will not be able to ignore the problem for much longer though as Cholera has now spread across the Zimbabwean border and into South Africa.. Unfortunately, it is not the Government who will suffer, but rather the poorest people in my country who will have to fight this disease. Those of us living in the "1st world" part of South Africa, like the large cities, will not be affected, but for those who live in poverty in the rural areas this Cholera outbreak is almost surely a death-sentence - and it is the young and the old who are most at risk!
How many people will die so that others may grow rich from exploiting the poor?