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Wednesday, 02 July 2008

Botswana leads the way

More African states join the protest against Mugabe

As the Zimbabwe crisis deepens, the African tradition that one country does not comment on the internal affairs of another is beginning to crumble. Yesterday saw a momentous move by our neighbouring country, Botswana. Its Vice-President, Mompati Merfahe, took the rare step of addressing Mugabe directly across the floor at the African Union (AU) conference in Egypt.

Merfahe told the Zimbabwean President that the presidential re-run vote last Friday, which Mugabe won against no opposition, had been so flawed with violence that it "did not reflect the will of the people." He demanded that Zimbabwe should, as a result, be excluded from the AU.

The Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga, also urged the AU to suspend Mugabe until he allowed free and fair elections. And Sierra Leone President Ernest Koromo commented that the people of Zimbabwe had been "denied their democratic rights."

However, these three stood out from the majority of the African leaders, who instead eased their consciences on the issue by adopting a milk-and-water resolution calling for a government of national unity in Zimbabwe.

Observers in Zimbabwe are sceptical that this laudable aim can ever be achieved, especially after the Zanu-PF violence of the past few weeks.

Morgan Tsvangirai has already stated that any negotiations between his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and Mugabe's people would have to be on the basis of the first presidential election, which Tsvangirai won by a clear margin.

And at the conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba said that the crisis would be solved in the "Zimbabwean way."  He also said that the West had no basis to speak about the situation, and "could go hang a thousand times."

Meanwhile the terror and persecution across Zimbabwe continues, with Mugabe's militia hunting down an ever-widening range of targets.

The western media is widely reporting than an elderly white farmer, Mike Campbell, 75, his wife and their son-in-law were badly beaten and thrown off their Harare farm on Sunday. Similar assaults and worse continue to be inflicted on black Zimbabweans on a daily basis.

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Comments

Botswana, Kenya, Sierra Leone. 3 countries from a continental body of 52 (excluding Zimbabwe) can call a spade a spade. What a testament to the moral fibre of the continent. Utter, dispicable filth.

Jakaya Kikwete, the Tanzanian Looter claimed the election was 'historic'. It certainly was but I don't think any non-reptilian would agree with him as to why it was historic. Historic in levels of violence? Intimidation? Murder? Rape? Electoral fraud?

And once again Mugabe has been throws a lifeline. According to the AU website, this moron from Tanzania is the current AU Chairperson. Which means his influence will count tremendously even if the body does try to do the right thing.

And so far it has chickened out with feeble call for a GNU. They haven't even suggested a neutral mediator. So in effect they have actually endorsed the election and presidencial claim of Mugabe, leaving him and Mbeki to continue to bring misery to Zimbabwe.

If I didn't have such an emotional connection to Zimbabwe, I'd be tempted to just throw in the towel and let the whole stinking continent rot.

To be honest, reading some of the comments on the web from people in the West, many people already have given up on Africa.

I think the problem with mugabe is old age and his sturbonness to accept change.there is no other way out of this other than killing this man,we are sick and tired of listening about Zim in every news.Mugabe is a stupid old man who misleading his cronies and whoever vote for him,african leaders are all the same when coming to leadership.they sit and forget that is the people who elected them into power.im a south african but i simpathise with the innocent citizens of zimbabwe who everyday has to live with fear of what might happen.the west must intervene on this because africa has failed to react,the au is just toothless organisation that its leaders go there to show off their designer suits.this is really a rape of a black race,Mugabe enjoys mocking every white jurnos,that zim is not a british colony,wht does that has to do with him beating his people,this guy is one those african leaders i don`t respect and can never call my heros.thank you.

Did anyone else observe the photo's of Mugabe at the AU meeting and see the absolute fear written on his`face ?

Why am I not surprised....? Mugabe is the master of manipulation, and he will say what he knows will satisfy African leaders in order to give him the space to remain in power. The disheartening fact is that he doesn't care about anyone but himself, and those who are supposed to be able to influence him e.g. Mbeki, haven't got the guts to admit that they're kidding themselves. The MDC would be fools to get invplved in this charade. In the meantime, Zimbabwe carries on burning!

Three cheers for Vice-President Merfahe.

The West and all those who claim to have attachments to Africa, should have given up on it before their looting and pillaging. Honestly, Western comments have played into Mugabe's claims that the MDC is a Western stooge. So please do Africa a favor with your silence.

Let me get this straight Mangwiro, you're expecting me to let a good portion of my life just fade away without comment? And are you also expecting me to give up on friends I still have out there?

Just because the great Mangwiro thinks it should be so?

Short answer ..... No, because I believe in the MDC, not as someone who now lives in the west, not as a former resident, not even as someone who still has a vested interest in the form of seeing his few remaining friends in Zim remain breathing ..... but as a human, someone who wants to see Zim free from oppression instead of the current state built on Mugabe's lies of liberation and freedom for all.

And maybe you can answer me this, colonialism is yesterdays news, and to be perfectly honest, it's good that it is ..... so why is everything still a Western plot to gain control? I reckon you'll find that it's more an internal plot ..... and the west is a smokescreen designed to keep the news of atrocities to a minimum. With kids its the boogeyman, and thats just been changed to 'the west' in Africa ..... both of them are far less terrifying in reality than in words.

Michael, I did not say MDC is not the answer nor did I issue any disparaging remarks against the MDC. MDC is Zimbabwean. I am talking about the comments from the West which add fuel to the fire. Mugabe is a former guerrilla movement leader. He led the movement partly because the West displayed the arrogance it is displaying now. That arrogance will will make Zanu-PF more stubborn and determined to carry on its course.

I live the and breath the Zimbabwe situation every day and I am not one of the elite. I will tell you this Western comments are dangerous for MDC, that is why a majority in the MDC want an African solution.

If you believe that colonialism is a thing of the past then may be you were and not its victim. Colonialism like slavery has generational consequences. May be you should take time to research as to why many academics advocate a process of decolonization. Find out what it is.

Thank you for calling me great but there is no need for such flattery.

I know well the dangers of colonization and the benefits of decolonization, and this is from someone who has lived as a Rhodesian, a Zimbabwe Rhodesian and a Zimbabwean. I now live in a Western country, in fact, one of the very countries you are urging to silence, for the simple reason that life under Mugabe was getting dangerous, even in the early days of his regime ..... otherwise I would still have been living in the country I love.

But as I value the lives of the friends still in country, I live the reality of the Zimbabwe situation no less than you. Also you say that an African solution is desirable to the MDC, and I would ordinarily agree, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that it will not happen, because too many of the old guard are in power, and they will back Mugabe to the hilt regardless of whether there is western commentary or not.

For the sake of this thread I will not get into my personal thoughts on Mugabe and his 'guerrilla/freedom fighter' label, but I will say that I have seen what his tactics wrought on innocent civilians (both black and white) in the late 1970's, and not much changes.

I think you may have caught the tone of sarcasm in the comment of 'Great Mangwiro', and I apologise for that, it was a knee jerk reaction to the comments in your post. As I stated I have a continuing connection to Zimbabwe, and it forms a large part of my early life, so I would hope you understand why, in that light, your post made me see red on first impression.

Mangwiro, I may be wrong but under other headings you have given you surname as Matambanadzo. This name belongs to a well known family who were black millionairs and owners of the Matambanadzo bus comany during that bad Rhodsian colonial period ? Please correct me if I am wrong.

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