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Has Mugabe out-foxed the African Union?

June 29, 2008

It would be out of character for the African Union (AU) to order any tough sanctions against Zimbabwe’s strongman President Robert Mugabe at its summit in Egypt on Monday. But has his swearing-in on Sunday for a new five-year term after a widely condemned election further narrowed the AU’s latitude for action? Mugabe defied international calls to cancel a presidential election run-off and negotiate with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai who defeated Mugabe in the first-round ballot on March 29 but fell short of an outright majority. Mugabe was the only candidate in the second round after Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic change pulled out because of widely reported government-backed violence and intimidation.

Mugabe was heading for the AU summit after Zimbabwe’s electoral commission declared him the winner as expected. He was immediately inaugurated in Harare, extending his 28-year rule. This could force the AU to deal with him as the legitimate head of state of Zimbabwe, in the face of calls from the likes of South Africa’s Bishop Desmond Tutu for the pan-African body not to recognise his election.  A defiant Mugabe vowed to confront his critics at the summit. The wily Mugabe invited Tsvangirai to the inauguration ceremony and pledged at the event to talk to the opposition to solve the country’s political crisis. Tsvangirai rejected the invitation.

zimbabwe_mugabe_poster.jpgPolitical analysts said Mugabe was attending the AU summit from a position of strength and with an appearance of willingness to negotiate with Tsvangirai, a long-standing demand of the AU.

“If the AU does not recognise his presidency Mugabe simply retuns to Harare and goes on with his life,” analyst John Makumbe told Johannesburg’s City Press. “Life for Zimbabweans remains the same, if not worse. So the AU has to make a difficult choice: going for Mugabe or going with Mugabe.”

The pan-African organisation had for years used a sacred principle of non-interference to justify inaction against rogue leadership on the continent. Many African leaders have been reluctant to condemn Mugabe, who has enjoyed the status of an African liberation hero. But all that is changing, with Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga leading a growing number of African voices critical of Mugabe.

So do you expect the AU to take any tough stand against Mugabe? Or has Mugabe out-foxed the AU? What form of international intervention is possible in Zimbabwe? Is Mugabe sincere about his declared intention to reach out to the opposition?

Comments

No amount of condemnation from the AU will worry Mugabe or his military junta. Infact it appears that condemnation is something that ‘fuels’ Mugabe and his cronies. Members of the AU may stretch as far as condemning Mugabe but are unlikely to have any clout or want to get involved in ousting Mugabe physically. The cost alone, not to mention logistics of deploying forces against an army which was trained partly by the British is not an easy challenge. It could be easier for the 1st World with crack units like the SAS backed up by the UN as a presence on the ground. However, the 1st world also appears loathe to get involved after Iraq and Afghanistan. This combined with a worldwide credit crunch, political correctness and politicians careful not to fall out of favour can only spells disaster for Zimbabwe. It appears that Mugabe and his cronies fate does only lie in the hands of God. May God strike them down!

Posted by gusdug | Report as abusive
 

How can the african union punish mugabe they are guilty of worse things in their countries. nigerian elections were a sham but were recognised by bush cos usa can get oil.

Posted by jon | Report as abusive
 

Tsvangirai calls the stolen election and the swearing in of Robert Mugabe as President Mugabe “a huge joke!” He is now calling on the African leaders in Egypt for the AU Summit starting tomorrow to reject Mugabe as the true Head of State of Zimbabwe. That is a very tough decision he is asking the AU to take.

If the presidential run-off had been truly free and fair, no doubt he would have been the one making his maiden appearance at the summit. If the shoe was on the other foot, and one of the Africa’s many dictator was riding roughshod over his people just as Mugabe has done. Would he stand up with leaders like Prime Rally Odinga of Kenya and condemn the said dictator, particularly since his own experience under Mugabe would still be fresh and the broken bones of his supporters still in plasters? Of course he could chose “quite diplomacy”, a favourite of SA President Thabo Mbeki. Then there is the most popular option of saying nothing and doing nothing – do not rock the boat, after all you too may need to rig elections, violate human rights, etc. sooner than you think!

Well Mr Morgan Tsvangirai you are not going to Egypt still you now have to demonstrate whether you would take act on the advice you so freely give to others. You want the AU not to recognise Mugabe as the President of Zimbabwe, right? Well are you going to do the same? There is the little matter of swearing in of the newly elected MPs and opening of the new parliament; Mugabe as the President of Zimbabwe will preside over these formalities. If MDC does not recognise Mugabe as the legitimate head of state then all recently elected MDC MPs and Senators can not take part!

Of course a tough stance by MDC will send a clear message to the AU that this is a problem that they deal with now or will have to deal with tomorrow or the day after that – it will simply not go away. Mugabe may think he is thick skinned by the prospect of a bye-election in over half the constituencies will wear him down.

Frankly I do not see MDC boycotting parliament and taking a tough stance against Mugabe. MDC leaders are itching to start enjoying the generous fringe benefits of being an elected official. Mugabe knows better that denying MDC MPs and Senators the privileged life style afforded his own cronies. MDC would join in a Mugabe led Government of National Unity even if it is clear such a regime would be totally ineffective in turns of taking the nation out of the mess Mugabe has landed it in. There will even be an open revolt by MDC leaders if Tsvangirai was to push them hard on this point.

There is all the evidence that Tsvangirai was not going to take his on advice not to recognise Mugabe as President of Zimbabwe- he has said or do nothing about that himself! It was one thing Mr Tsvangirai turning done the chance to drink glasses the best (nothing but the best for President Mugabe) French wine at President Mugabe’s swearing-in ceremony – electing to drown his disappointment with Dutch beer at the Dutch Embassy a few km away from State House- quite another taking the tough statesmanship choices!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive
 

Self called opposition leader has not many options. He is a quiter, and he must accept his defeat. Presently, Mr. Tsvangirai has only one option: to be a part of the future government of President Mugabe. Wihout doubt, President Mugabe won presidential election, and Tsvangirai lost. We know that President Mugabe is open to the idea of inclusive government of national unity. This it is a real openness of the wise Man, President of Zimbabwe. Now everyone recognizes the big mistake of Tvangirai. He did bad choice by refusing to participate in presidential election. He thought that he can become president of Zimbabwe because he has different supports from British and other foreign forces. This, it is his big mistake. Tsvangirai must keep in mind that Zimbabwean people, and african people support President Mugabe. And President Mugabe is a Fighter Man guided by the Principles, and Tsvangirai is a mere coward. This, it is a significant difference between these two men. May God bless President Mugabe during his new duties.

Posted by Tendaie | Report as abusive
 

Mugabe’s ‘reelection’ is nothing but the the antic of a desperate dictator holding on to power by the skin of his teeth. Why would a popular leader resort to violence if not for the recognition that his time is up. Is Zimbabwe so lacking in leadership that his supporters think he is irreplaceable. Such short sighted people should stop looking at their own immediate benefits and look at the larger picture. What more has Mugabe to offer if not more violence, poverty and death.
The onus is now up to the AU. It is evident that many gained their positions in less than fair conditions, but can those few credible leaders make their voices known. I refer in particular to the presidents of Botswana, Tanzania, Mozambique among others. Failure to take a stand against a leader who blatantly defies defines the general weakness of the so called leaders. I wonder why they are even called leaders. I think their title should be redefined to that of club members. The AU summit in Cairo is the measure of who is a leader and a club member.

 

What will the AU and SADC do now? One possible scenario:

They will not declare the government of Robert Mugabe illegitimate but niether will they accept the results of the Presidential run-off. They will call for a high level mediation team to engage the MDC and Zanu Pf in a negotiation that will lead to an interim government with a new Presidential election within six months to a year. Who will head the interim government? Mugabe will but without the sweeping powers he currently enjoys. At the end of the interim period Mugabe will step down and not contest the next election (thus he will not have to face the ingnomy of an electoral defeat and from a Zanu Pf perspective this would be good as he is more of a liability than an asset as the Solomon Mujuru faction have argued within the party). Morgan Tsvangirai will have to wait for his Presidential ambitions for the next election. The Presidential appointments to the Senate will either be suspended or split 50/50. Parliament will be sworn in by Mugabe. The primary purpose of the interim government will be to create the conditions necessary for a free and fair election including the demilitarisation of the electoral process.

If this is agreed then the West will support this process and not press for any further measures by the Security Council. The West will assist in stabilising the Zimabwean economy.

Posted by Tashinga | Report as abusive
 

Its just another reason that Africa will always be seen as a joke and a pariah for the investment community. In Africa there is no opposition governement, they are either dead or fleeing or in jail. And all this goes on while the Africans themselves look on and talk. Nero fiddled while Rome burned. Mbeki is useless. Africa is the only continent in the world that does not grow economically

 

Out-foxed? What amazes me is how many news articles (especially on Reuters these days) seem to attempt to give Mugabe some sort of redeeming qualities. Mugabe is not clever, witty, smart…and so on. He is a tyrant – there is little else to be said about him.

No, he didn’t out-fox anyone. The African Union, like the United Nations, just showed how completely ineffective it can be. It’s time we scrap these organizations, they’ve little more value than the League of Nations had not so long ago. Only this time, there are a lot more Neville Chamberlains proclaiming “peace in our time” (Mbeki, anyone?). What a joke.

Posted by Bardas Sudislav | Report as abusive
 

I agree entirely with Clewe Zulu; the AU must form a plan of action in a very public manner to demonstrate to the world that they are a serious, democratic body of countries who will not tolerate “business as usual” in Africa. They are presently at a vey precarious stage in their development and their negotiations and moral position must show their willingness to act together to oppose tyranny and violence. Their ability to form a consensus in spite of threats and the fear of reprisals, will lead others to join their efforts, in this way great organizations and nation-unions are formed.

Posted by William McCandless | Report as abusive
 

Tendaie, it’s clear you’re part of Mugabe’s propaganda apparatus, so you have no legitimacy here. Mugabe is closer to Pol Pot than he is to Nelson Mandela, and Tendaie, you’re one of the Khmer Rouge. The US had a much smaller population than Zimbabwe has now when it was founded but our presidents then wouldn’t serve more than 8 years because they respected the notion of limited power in the hands of one person; surely you can’t be saying, Tendaie, that Zimbabwe can’t possibly find the presidential talent anew to run the government every six years, that it has no choice but to keep turning to an old man who must hang on to power by the barrel of a gun, because it is clear that Mugabe had no respect for his own Constitution, the people in whose name he governs, or the rule of law. Jon Pars is correct, as is that movie last year “Blood Diamond”: whenever you want to know why something doesn’t work properly, fairly in Africa, it’s because “This is Africa”. Tendaie, you and the rest of your Mugabe cronies should be grateful that Tsvangirai’s people aren’t as willing as you to terrorize and kill to win, otherwise you’d all be dead by now.

Posted by jimbo | Report as abusive
 

As a zimbabwean, living in zimbabwe during these times. I am ashamed to call myself a zimbabwean, i am ashamed to call myself an african, let alone a human being.

For it seems that ‘leaders’ can cheat, kill and steal, and no one will ever say a word against them. Africa is surely the continent of no hope. for all its leaders are just a greedy as the next.

Never will africa be anything more than a continent of sand, dictators and war, even against their own people.

Tsvangirai was the last ray of light for this country, and we are sincerely indebted to him for giving us hope and something to be positive about in the last 8 years.
Mugabe and his greedy thugs will one day have to square up with what they have done.

To all you zanu supporters out there, just remember, we are in this together. just as we will all suffer, so will you. You may kill us, but rest assured, you will never be anything more than a tool. Funny, how your life will be interpreted by nothing more than a philips screw driver.

Our only appeal now is to the greater good, in that it will show these people the true meaning of freedom, and that justice will soon prevail.

Posted by Carabiniere commodore legendio | Report as abusive
 

A major problem for the MDC-T and Zimbabwe government in general is Mr. Morgan Tsvangirai’s lack of leadership qualities as he has displayed over and over again. Most of us get our information by reading different news sources. Without a doubt, Mr. Tsvangirai is capricious and indecisive, is not reliable, is unpredictable, lacks foresight/dedication with regards to the welfare of his constituents, is spineless, and does not have the stamina to persevere. He has demonstrated that he has more reverence for the foreign media and sponsors than he does for his constituents in Zimbabwe. He rambles endlessly to the media and makes public proclamations, gives ultimatums etc., but it is clear that he can not be relied on to lead and rule any nation.

Posted by Burt Scruggs | Report as abusive
 

I, and several others I know, give money regularly by monthly direct debit to UK aid charities who help impoverished people in Africa. When one reads about tyrants like Mugabe, one wonders if any of the financial support we give is really worth it.

Mugabe has squandered the prosperity of Zimbabwe! It was once a wealthy prosperous nationa – now it is unable to feed its own people and most live in fear and poverity.

I keep asking myself: “Is my financial contribution doing anything in the longer term to help solve the problems of Africa?” I do not come up with a positive answer.

Posted by Harry Locksley | Report as abusive
 

Jimbo,

Good on you for standing up to Tendaie. I’ve gone toe-to-toe with him in other blogs, and I am glad to see someone else is getting fed up with him. I would not be surprised if he was on Bob’s payroll – he sounds just like one of their paid cronies.

Burt Scruggs,

At this point, maybe he is a bit inexperienced, maybe a little indecisive. Wouldn’t you be if you had to live your life with the fear of assassination hanging over your head? I know that I might be, always having to watch my steps very carefully. The truth is, the man is a far better option than Mugabe. Hell, you could give a middle-school student control and they’d probably do a better job than Mugabe, but that isn’t the point, is it? Tsvangirai needs a chance (just like all Zimbabweans) to live and work without the fear of reprisal – if you give him that, then maybe things will change.

Harry Locksley,

You might as well stop sending money. I have monitored such things in the past (especially in Asia and Africa), and more often than not you end up with a Somalia-like situation where the funds and goods that people donate end up in the hands of the ‘bad guys’. Yes, sadly I do not doubt that a lot of the aid money and goods somehow wind up in the possession of Mugabe – the people continue to suffer while the good folks of the world continue to send their hard earned money. It would not surprise me at all if this was the situation in Zimbabwe. Mugabe is just the kind of person that would commit such a crime.

Posted by Bardas Sudislav | Report as abusive
 

‘For mutual respect and human honour of Africa and Africans’ – in Zimbabweans and globally

I write as an ageing descendant of West Africans who were exported to the West Indies, to urge Africa’s leaders not to yield to tribalistic ethnic-European calls for alienation of Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe.

It is especially right that Mr Nelson Mandela is celebrated here in Europe and the ‘West’ generally, because in 1990, upon his release from imprisonment by apartheid South Africa, he used his standing to disarm the fight of ethnic-Africans in South Africa, and end their courageous fight-back against European domination and for re-distribution of the social, political, and economic wealth of their country.

Eighteen years after Mr Mandela’s freedom, in South African, ethnic-Africans still live in what we label as shacks and ‘townships’ while our ethnic-European cousins there, live in what we call homes and farms. The Nelson Mandela stance sold his people short and should not be recommended for Zimbabwe or elsewhere..
One wonders whether or how much the local and global standing of ethnic- Africans, has gained from Mr Mandela’s celebrated magnanimity; a magnanimity ‘paid for’ by ethnic-Africans and celebrated by ethnic-Europeans in South Africa. The situation lends a hollow ring to the condemnation of Zimbabwe’s leadership by Mr Mandela. The condemnation is further devalued by being issued while Mr Mandela was being lavishly feted in London in birthday celebrations.

The hypocrisy and diplomatic double standards of our attitude in Europe and the ‘West’, is shown by the fact that we join forces to bomb Afghans and Iraqis into submission, yet, praise Mr Mandela for persuading his people to end armed struggle and humbly ‘turn the other cheek’. ‘The West’, of course being a guileful euphemism for an international cabal of ethnic-Europeans. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, following the lead of his predecessor Tony Blair, now calls for cricketing-bans against Zimbabwe. This hypocrisy being despite teams from England and Australia playing cricket with South Africa, throughout the European-supremacist and apartheid years; a situation that continued into the 1980s in spite of a cricketing ban against South Africa.

The charge of hypocrisy and diplomatic double standards is further supported by facts that it took Britain and the United States many centuries of existence before universal adult voting was introduced and enforced. In Britain this was not until 1928 and in the US not until as recent as 1964 (with the notable exceptions of some individual States).
Thank heaven that in Africa, Mr Robert Mugabe and a many Zimbabweans, at least, have the courage to continue to battle against diktats of the ‘West’ and to strive for re-distribution ill-gotten gains taken by force of arms under heinous colonial and apartheid regimes. Particularly laudable that they fight-on, in spite of the inevitable tribal campaign of ‘the West’, to demonise Mr Mugabe at home and abroad, and supplant him with a likely more compliant, Morgan Tsvangirai.

Let me provoke thought with the following eight questions to fair-minded people:

(1) What has Zimbabwe-cricket done to warrant expulsion from the world’s cricket-family?

(2) Is it right that cricket be used by ‘the West’ in its tribal attack against Mr Mugabe and Zimbabwe?

(3) What is the present British Government doing to actively re-distribute the disproportionate wealth acquired in Zimbabwe by Europeans, under apartheid, colonization, while holding a gun?
(4) Is it preferable, for the honour of Africa and Africans that Zimbabweans submit to ethnic-European dominance do nothing to re-distribute wealth taken by force of arms and apartheid?
(5) By whose acts, political spin, and or orders have most innocent men, women, and children been killed around the world – British Prime Minister Tony Blair, US President George Bush, or Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe?
(6) If it is right to act against Zimbabwe because of its internal affairs, is it also correct to act against England, and United States, for their pre-emptive military invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan?
(7) If it is right to act against Zimbabwe in the present circumstances, is it also correct to act against Britain, Canada, Australia, and US for their pre-emptive military ground action and bombing which has killed hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghan men, women and children?
(8) Can Britain and the US who by their military campaigns, killed thousands of innocent non-European peoples around the world, be sincere that they are truly concerned about the ordinary people of Zimbabwe?

Upon considered honest answers to these questions I believe that Gordon Brown’s UK Government should be opposed in its blatant, tribal-campaign, against Mr Mugabe and Zimbabwe.

By this I seek not to justify any wrongs as maybe, nor to suggest that heinous and inhumane acts and crimes of the past, can in anyway justify any other such act. However, I respectfully urge the closest possible examination of the agendas of the parties involved in an obvious campaign to demonise President Robert Mugabe and the Government of Zimbabwe, and in so doing, stimulate strife and suffering among the people of Zimbabwe.

I proffer this following, sad, personal assessment. It would appear that the Morgan Tsvangirai of some centuries ago, joined and connived with European slave-traders, to sell fellow Africans into slavery, and, condemn Africa to colonisation and occupation. Here in the twenty-first century, it appears to me history is being repeated; a symbol being Mr Tsvangirai taking refuge, not under an African flag but in a Dutch embassy.
———————————————————
Hubert Taylor
Birmingham, England
30 June 2008

Posted by Hubert Taylor | Report as abusive
 

There’s nothing complicated about this at all. African countries should condemn Mugabe unreservedly, they should refuse to recognise his government, and they should join in wholehearted sanctions against his country to bring his government down. That is what they should do. What they will actually do is very little at all, because to give them their due, they’re not complete and utter hypocrites. There’s not a single properly-functioning, non-corrupt democracy in the entire continent, and many of them would have regarded Mugabe as a model African leader until recently. You only have to consider Mandela’s shamefully half-baked “criticism” of Mugabe the other day to realise what their standards really are. The words practically stuck in his throat.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive
 

Burt Scruggs

“Wabaya gudo nomumukanwa!” as we would say in Shona (one of Zimbabwe’s local language). The English equivalent would be “Hitting the nail on the head!” Tsvangirai certainly “lack leadership qualities” as you have rightly pointed out.

On Sunday Tsvangirai was interviewed by John Simpson on BBC. When he was asked what now expected to happen he was waffling about expecting Mugabe retiring as a statesman, like Mandela. The news clip started with the trouble John had to go through to get the interview; as we all know BBC is banned from reporting in Zimbabwe. Poor John, he had risked being man handled by the Mugabe’s thugs and possibly a few nights in Zimbabwe’s filth jails for that!

The problem is Tsvangirai never seem to learn, he has show his poor leadership qualities “over and over again” as Burt said.

Bardas Sudislav, I accept “At this point, maybe he is a bit inexperienced, maybe a little indecisive”. You have even given reasons why he should be. It is certainly not a crime that he has no leadership qualities. What matters here is that Zimbabwe needs competent leaders desperately and they are there. MDC, like other parties or organisations, should be doing everything to encourage and promote quality people within the party. It is in fact doing the exact opposite at present.

The tendency in Africa is for the founding the individuals of a political party, in this case, to consider the party their own individual property. Others can join but they can not assume any leadership positions. And among the founders themselves there is no meaningful competition as positions are shared out on the basis of entitlement not ability. Zanu PF, for example, has been in power for nearly thirty years now and yet all top positions within the party in all those years have been held by the same selected few. MDC, for all its posturing on democracy, has no democratic credential to show for it, particularly in the selection of the party’s leaders.

The present MDC leadership, specifically under Tsvangirai, has been a great disappointment. The people of Zimbabwe have suffered under this Mugabe dictatorship and they really can do with a breath of fresh air. MDC must hold a party congress now, clear the deck and elect new party leaders right across the board!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Mukori,

Perhaps you have another candidate in mind, if Mr. Tsvangirai is not to your liking? I do appreciate, though, your well-worded reply. I would also agree with you that the MDC needs to improve upon itself, though the same could be said about almost every political party worldwide. Maybe the MDC isn’t the “best” option for Zimbabwe, but for all intents and purposes, it is certainly better that what they’ve got going for them right now – especially since the international community seems to be throwing their support behind them.

The situation in Zimbabwe will not change overnight, even if the MDC gains control of the political situation there somehow. Small steps, though – and the first should be the removal of Mugabe and his fellows from power. I think we can all agree to that, yes?

Posted by Bardas Sudislav | Report as abusive
 

Bardas Sudislav

By accepting open and meaningful debate and competition MDC will allow itself to thrash out things/policies/plans. That can only improve the quality of their policies and therefore ultimately the quality of their leadership. I do not think there is any meaningful debate or competition within MDC now or in the past.

Some people think MDC would improve once they are in office, then think again.

Zimbabweans have waited for 30 years now for economic prosperity, human rights and to enjoy all the other things many others have taken for granted for generations. I do not think they will be amuse to hear they will have for a few more years whilst Tsvangirai thinks what to do next. Frankly if Tsvangirai does not know what to do now, and evidence on the ground is that he blandering along, he will not be an wiser tomorrow.

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive
 

Mr. Mukori,

Still, I must ask again – do you have someone else in mind who would be the leader you think the Zimbabweans deserve? I have yet to hear of anyone else who would take up the task.

If there is no one else, then I see only two options:

1. Mugabe stays in power (as it is now). Zimbabwe continues to suffer due to his lack of leadership ability and genuine cruelty towards his own people. Also, there is the lack of trade and impact of current and potential future sanctions that must be considered.

2. Mugabe’s government is replaced. Even if they (the group which takes power) lack experience, I still see this as a better situation that what exists today. The international community is far more likely to give support/aid to Zimbabwe if this occurs (and this has been professed time and time again), and trade is far more likely to increase.

I still say that ANYONE other than Mugabe is better at this point – regardless of if it is Tsvangirai replacing him or someone else.

Posted by Bardas Sudislav | Report as abusive
 

Sadly I see in the cards for Zimbabwe the seeds of a failed state. The sad eyes of her refugees a telling story of despair and resignation relievable only by emigration at any cost. Such a thousand mile stare was in the face of a nurse who attended my wife after recent surgery. She had a slight British accent that I first mistook for Caribbean. A twenty thousand dollar bill sits worthless and forlorn on a bulletin board in a small country restaurant along with other bills left by tourists. Twenty thousand dollars! But then it takes two hundred and fifty MILLION Zimbabwe dollars to buy a postage stamp! This is like Weimar Germany in the depth of the pre-Hitler depression. Do not underestimate the capacity of a desperate and hungry people if pushed down enough! The future of Zimbabwe is like Somalia without the tribes, a failed state. Watch for first rioting, then small guerrilla action. All over. Right now there is an opposition leadership. The first response will be to eliminate it or drive it into hiding. This was tried in South Africa. Rebels elected new leaders even faster than the oppressors could kill them. And scattered to the bush! Mugabe and his criminal generals propping him up will bleed dry from thousands of tiny cuts. The campaign will take years. Mugabe will die of old age but that will leave the generals with only a temporary problem, as is replacement may even now be ‘waiting in the wings’. ‘Sanctions’ will be a problem for the clique that will be circumvented by Chinese aid in return for a monopoly on strategic elements like chrome and vanadium vitally needed by the west and found only in Zimbabwe. So then the mines will be primary targets. Of course Chinese troops can be ‘sent as volunteers’ to ‘guard’ them. Those ‘veterans’ sitting on the farms stolen from those who stole them from others will find them a trap, as they will be islands in a sea of conflict that will swallow them up as flowers in a storm. There will be no escape from this caged hell on earth as the area descends into an abyss that will grow and swallow not only all of Zimbabwe, but then spread out to its neighbors just like the conflict in the Great Lakes did. The only questions are how many millions will die, how many deadly epidemics will it spawn to become worldwide pandemics, and how many years it will take for either active intervention occurs or a funeral dirge will be sung over any chance it has for any normality…ever.

Posted by Yakov Lanskiy | Report as abusive
 

Why is there no effort to apprehend Mugabe and send him to the International Court in The Hague? Long ago an international warrant should have been issued for his arrest. Instead he travels freely and openly around the world and nothing happens. There seemed to be no such reluctance regarding Charles Taylor of Liberia, Serb leaders, the leaders of Uganda’s LRA, etc. It seems some international leaders are applying two different standards. Might they be turning a blind eye in exchange for suitable deposits to their Swiss bank accounts?

Posted by Blue Leader | Report as abusive
 

The African Union’s credibility is now badly compromised.
:-(
It seems obvious that the members care little for the human rights crisis in Zimbabe, and that it’s abject failure to make a stand against Mugabe marks it out as ineffective and quilty of collusion.

The Union seems to support Mugabe and refuses to condemn him.

It is simply not good enough, and gives the world the impression that there is a moral laxity on matters of abusive and illegal government. The Union needs to grow up and start acting like a real force – not a bunch of old boys supporting each other no matter what one of them does.

It is a sickening sight to see them buddy-up to a man who has become an icon of savagery.

Yesterday we witnessed ITN correspondent Julian Manyon being almost beaten up, seemingly on Mugabe’s orders, just because he asked Mugabe a question he did not like. It was a chilling taste of the real Mugabe: a nasty little bully with the brains of a hippo – he attacks instinctively and has NO shame whatsover. Obviously he is a coward, his henchmen doing his dirty work!

If the Union wants to be respected and taken seriously, and not be seen as a sham and a joke, then it needs teeth when one of its members commits crimes of violence and conducts illegal elections.

If the union does not punish Mugabe and expel him, then the Union will be seen as approving of his terribly regime of death.

What an insult that is to all his thousands of victims!

I rest my case. :-(

Posted by The Truth Is... | Report as abusive
 

The AU is every bit the dictators club that the OAU was.
There are not many with hand every bit as dirty as Mugabe. He hasn’t outfoxed them he is as one with them…..just ask silly old Bongo or Khadaffi.

Posted by Fred | Report as abusive
 

I think Mbeki and AU leaders benefit from the fall of Zimbabwe just as must as one business man benefits from the fall of another competitor.The people of the AU are not real leaders, they are just intellectuals and businessman, true Africans who believe “one mens poison is another men’s meat”

Posted by Nomalanga | Report as abusive
 

I think Mbeki and AU leaders benefit from the fall of Zimbabwe just as must as one business man benefits from the fall of another competitor.The people of the AU are not real leaders, they are just intellectuals and businessman, true Africans who believe \”one mens poison is another men\’s meat\”

Posted by Nomalanga | Report as abusive
 

Bardas Sudislav

What am saying is a truly democratic political party, which MDC and Zanu PF are not, would bring the best out of the seating leadership and would allow quality individual to occupy leadership positions. MDC should do this and quality leaders will emerge.

Do I have anyone in mind to take over from Tsvangirai? The answer is yes, I know a number of individuals in MDC including Tsvangirai, at present and I believe a few of them would do a better job leading the party than Tsvangirai. But even if what I say would make any difference that would undermine the democratic value I stand for and am trying to promote.

Tsvangirai may have his weaknesses but as to whether it is him or Mugabe who should rule, the can be no debate on that – Tsvangirai.

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive
 

As he cares not a damn about what anyone thinks of him he should not take umbrage if he is addressed as “bug-a-me”, after all this is merely an anagram, not the insult which mugabe is!

Posted by Stewart | Report as abusive
 

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