From ANIMAL PEOPLE, March 2001.
On February 2, Groundhog Day, groundhogs across North America declared–by remaining fast asleep in hibernation–that winter would continue. In a much hotter climate, Zimbabwean dictator Robert Mugabe forced Zimbabwean Supreme Court chief judge Anthony Gubbay to resign, warning Gubbay that his personal safety could no longer be guaranteed.
Gubbay and the other Zimbabwean Supreme Court judges outraged Mugabe by finding in December 2000 that his manipulations of election results were unconstitutional. Also illegal, the court found, are expropriations of habitat from private owners to redistribute among so-called “war veterans”–many of them not nearly old enough to have helped in overthrowing the apartheid regime of the former Rhodesia. This followed a November ruling that the ongoing occupations of private wildlife reserves by the “war veterans” are illegal, and an October ruling that Mugabe lacked the authority to pardon the “war veterans” for crimes linked to the occupations.