Armed intervention is now on the cards - here's why
Zambia, one of Zimbabwe's neighbouring countries, stations its crack 2nd battalion troops at the Tug Argan barracks in the Copperbelt city of Ndola. Zambia's Commandos are at the nearby Mushili depot. Recently both units have been training, in joint operations with the army of Botswana, another of our neighbouring states. The prospect - nothing less than the armed invasion of Zimbabwe.
This scenario has grown more and and more likely over the past few days, as the tone of international condemnation of Robert Mugabe becomes strident, and the possibility of armed intervention in Zimbabwe is at last given serious consideration.
Those famous voices who previously called for negotiations are now calling for action. Former Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, even ponderous British Prime Minister Gordon Brown - all have declared that enough is enough.
These tough-talking leaders have clearly and jointly reached the conclusion that Zimbabwe is collapsing and its people suffering unforgivably - something that commentators such as your own Moses Moyo have been telling them for months, even years.
It's the appalling cholera epidemic, first highlighted on this site, that has brought them to this conclusion. It has taken the pitiful and highly preventable deaths of thousands of innocent Zimbabweans to remove the scales from their eyes.
Underlying the many tough statements this last weekend was the unmistakable implication that if Mugabe can't be persuaded to step down - and he can't - then the next step is armed intervention. But not by troops from America, or Britain, or anywhere in Europe.
The unspoken rule is that such military action cannot, for all the usual historical and political reasons, be taken by White troops, from White countries. The soldiers who cross the border into Zimbabwe must be African. And as South Africa, under its wishy-washy leadership, cannot be relied upon, we expect it will be our brothers from Botswana and Zambia who will be asked to lead the way.
My source in Zambia told me: "Our forces are fully equipped, especially with Ak47's and Katyusha rocket launchers and tanks. The plan is for Botswana troops and Zambian units to invade simultaneously from their own borders, catching Mugabe's men in a pincer movement."
He told me that there would certainly be public enthusiasm in both Zambia and Botswana for an enforced end to the Zimbabwean dictatorship. For months economic and political refugees have crowded across the borders of both countries. Now they still come - and they bring cholera with them.
Zambia observers also believe that the fight, if it came to one, would not be a long one. Zimbabwe's troops, as also revealed exclusively on these pages, are already rioting, and staging pitched battles with police in the Harare streets. They are thought to have no stomach for a battle to save Mugabe.
Meanwhile the international calls for action have also included a suggestion that Mugabe be brought to trial at the international court at the Hague. But, I must point out, that won't happen if we get our hands on him first. We have a swifter justice to exact.