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Is Africa beginning to stand up to Mugabe?

July 4, 2008

Nigeria is unhappy at Robert Mugabe’s continuing presidency in Zimbabwe.

The opinion of Africa’s most populous nation and its second biggest economy is hard to ignore, although some may observe Nigeria’s own presidential elections last year were not above reproach. “We express our strong displeasure at the process leading to the election and its outcome,” Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe told reporters, saying any negotiations over the future shape of Zimbabwe’s government should set the flawed election process to one side.

Robert Mugabe

A few hours earlier, Botswana had called on southern African nations to refuse to recognise Mugabe.

Was it coincidence or the start of a concerted push by African states dismayed at the failure of South African President Thabo Mbeki to broker a deal that would end the Zimbabwe crisis? Mbeki’s role as mediator looks ever more untenable. Today’s endorsement of his role by Robert Mugabe will hardly have helped.

Are the public statements by Nigeria and Botswana the beginning of something bigger? Will more African governments speak out? And how long can Mbeki continue as mediator?

Comments

I am really worried about Mugabe’s war rhetoric against Botswana. He has hundreds of thousands of murderous thugs at his command. He used them against his own people when they failed to vote for him in the 29 March elections. The level of violence the thugs unleashed on the populous and the barbarity of it force the opposition candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, to withdraw from the run-off race giving Mugabe a clear run. Mission accomplished as far as Mugabe and his thugs are concerned.

The thugs are now available and Mugabe may well deploy to Botswana next. Their mission would be to destabilize that country. Mugabe is not the man to suffer criticism from anyone, much less from a foe he feels he can bully. Mugabe would sorely want to make an example of Botswana. It is in his nature; cornered and with no where to go he would want to go down in a hail of bullets but with his guns blazing.

SADC has failed to stop Mugabe for years now because they sort to appease him when they should have been uncompromising and firm. The AU had a really chance to rein Mugabe in Egypt early this month but again the opportunity was wasted. If Mugabe should cause the loss of one life in Botswana then people like President Thabo Mbeki too will have innocent blood on their hands!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive
 

Botswana has gone on the offensive deploying its troops and heavy artillery along its border with Zimbabwe. This is enough provocation to send shivers down our spine as Zimbabweans.

It is true Nigeria and Botswana have voiced their concern about the Zimbabwe elections. So has Raila Odinga. But these isolated voices being extensions of imperial Europe and America do not make them African.

As for Nigeria, they may as well shut up. Their version of democracy is worse than the Zimbabwean one.

For Botswana, it is a pitty, the country lacks an African head of state. Just look at Khama, where he received his training and whom he is married to.

Mugabe is not the question. For us Zimbabweans, it is about empowerment, control of our resources, control of our land and sovereignty. We do not support foreign domination and any attempts to bring into our political sysems parrots will be resisted.

Zimbabwe is for Zimbabweans. Zimbabwe is not a colony any more and will never be a colony again. We suffered enough under the British. When Ian Smith declared UDI in 1965, what did the British and Americans do? Nothing. Today we say no to any form of interference, especially from our erstwhile colonisers.

If anyone is interested in improving the situation in Zimbabwe, then see to it that sanctions are lifted, lines of credit are opened and Zimbabwe is integrated into the global village. Any other tactic will not work. There are many of us who do not give a damn about what African countries or what Westerners say. Aluta Continua! The struggle continues until final victory. Victory is certain.

 

The tyrant Mugabe has still got some kicks in him to cause carnage to anyone that stands in his way.The irony of it is that whilst any sanctions or embargoes will only hurt the common man,especially the opposition,Mugabe will continue to lead a lavish life despite mass disapproval from the west and a few African countries.
Short of an inward revolution with possible drastic consequences,the old sly fox reigns for a time to come.

Posted by Makweti Martin | Report as abusive
 

Kiri

You claim to be Zimbabwean and talk of Mugabe and sovereignty, empowerment in one breath. What are you babbling about? What Mugabe has been doing is brutally denying ordinary Zimbabweans the basic and fundamental right to a free and fair election. For someone as learned and articulate as you it is hard to believe that you are still talking about all that colonial hog-wash.

There is one possible simple explanation: you are or your close relative is one of the very lucky “landless peasants” resettled after 2000 or something equally lucrative. You obvious do not know or feel all the economic hardship the rest of us are facing. I hope for your own sake that in you zeal to defend the status quo you were not one of the thugs deployed by Mugabe recently to terrorise and murder. Well, do you own a farm then – speak up!?

The day of reckoning is here and the truth Mugabe has tried so hard to hide all these years will be laid bare for all to see. Of course if you are a landless peasant owing hundred acre plus farm – whoever heard of such nonsense – then you will lose the farm. And you and your family will be subjected to closer scrutiny; in defence of your loot many of you have shed innocent blood. So it is not only the farm you now stand to lose but let me assure you, if you should be so foolish as to threaten Botswana then you will have your chicken neck stretched!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive
 

kiri,

The struggle ended in 1980 in victory. The revolution is over. Some Marxist revolutionaries never stop fighting a war against the population and opposition. This is about Democracy, not about a Marxist revolution.

Posted by Nasdaq7 | Report as abusive
 

A desperate blog by another desperate European pretending to have the interests of Zimbabwe at heart.

How dumb does a blogger have to be to concluded that objections by 2 out of over 50 african countries marks “the beginning of something bigger?”

Britain and American leaders have been pressuring African leaders since 2001 to condemn Mugabe, and what they have to show for it is Nigeria, Kenya, and Botswana.

Elections in Nigeria and Kenya are much worse than those in Zimbabwe while Botswana is an insignificant country in African terms.

Only Zimbabweans can solve their own problem. Britain and America should stop interfering, they should stop financing a party headed by their own puppet. Zimbabweans should set up an indigenous alternative to ZANU-PF and hold free and fair elections.

There can be no free and fair elections as long as the West are financing one of the political parties and starving the Zimbabwean people with economic sanctions in the hope that they will be forced to vote for the party headed by their puppet. That is not a fair election.

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive
 

First off, the quick answer is “no”.
Second, the sad fact is very few really care any longer.
Third, the Chinese weaponry the ZANU-PF received will more than satisfy their needs to stay in power for the short-term.
In the final analysis, this is simply the same maelstrom that has crept from Rwanda-DR Congo down to Zimbabwe. The real question is whether South Africa and SADC can impose the rule of law on Zimbabwe, or whether Zimbabwe will impose the rule of abject power onto South Africa?
The jury is still in deliberation.

Posted by Doug Petersen | Report as abusive
 

Vincent

The Pan Africa Election Observer team, a body representing AU, said of the recent presidential run-off in Zimbabwe was marred by widespread violence and intimidation, was not free or fair and therefore there must be a rerun. In the past similar observer teams have turned a blind eye to such things not only in Zimbabwe but in other African countries too. So that was a very significant development.

A few Africa Leaders at the AU Summit stood by the Observer team’s report and condemned Mugabe’s failure to hold free and fair elections. That too was a very significant development. African Leaders are notorious for closing rank and standby their fellow African Leader even when the later is wrong. And true to form, that is exactly what the majority at the AU did.

Yes some of the leaders who broke rank and condemned Mugabe have themselves failed to hold free and fair election. Mugabe has failed to hold free and fair elections in the past- for the record, he has never ever had any- but the run-off was the worst the people of Zimbabwe have ever seen. His brutality this time knew no bounds, even the usually see-nothing and hear-nothing carefully selected observer teams did see and hear many outrageous things and them said so in their reports. I would not want to argue whether elections in other African countries have been worse than what happened in Zimbabwe. This is not some beauty contest. It would suffice to say that some of the Leaders who condemn Mugabe simply could not ignore what he did. Full marks to them!

You condemn a man for the crime he committed, yes; but not for speaking up against crime even if he is a convicted criminal himself.

Please explain to me, Vincent, where is the interfering hand of the British or Americans in all this? All these nations have done is condemn what Mugabe has done, things Mugabe’s own specially selected and approved observers have reported happened. People like you will never ever accept that ordinary Zimbabweans, African, are capable of any independent judgement on anything let alone something as important as electing leaders to rule the country. Dictators like Mugabe fit in well with your twisted and sick thinking because for Zimbabwe or Africa to have competent and capable leaders will disprove you.

God, is has been really hard living under Mugabe’s suffocating dictatorship and I know many of many fellow Africans has suffered too under similar regimes. But, I believe the winds of really change are coming and they started as a breath of fresh air blowing at the AU Summit in Egypt on July 2 2008! Neither Mugabe nor any of his fellow dictators who backed him can do anything to stop the change. As for sick sycophants like you Vincent who have grown fat singing the praises of these dictators; you will have to earn an honest living for a change!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive
 

Mukori,

Western governments started interfering in Zimbabwe when Mugabe started seizing white farms.

Before then,, they closed their eyes to what he was doing. They even gave him honorary honors.

After the land seizure, Britain (and later America, Austrialia, New Zealand) started undermining the Zimbabwean economy through declared (the USA officially imposed sanctions in 2001) and undeclared sancions.

They also interfered through Western NGOs and by setting up the so-called Zimbabwe Democracy Trust and other British organizations specifically for the purpose of regime change.

The main aim of the regime change is to remove Mugabe not because he is undemocractic but because he dared to seize land from white farmers.

You can argue over Mugabe’s crimes, but British interest in Zimbabwe has nothing to do with democracy. It has everything to do with land and economic interests.

There is also the fear that a successful redistribution of land on Zimbabwe will set a precedent for countries in Southeastern Africa where white settlers control most of the land and economic resources.

Note: I am not expressing support or opposition to Mugabe. I am just stating the facts as they are. Mugabe has his agenda. The British and their allis have their agenda, and it has nothing to do with democracy.

Mbeki knows this, and that is why he is resisting pressure from Britain and the campaign of lies by the BBC.

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive
 

MUKORI WROTE: “African, are capable of any independent judgement on anything let alone something as important as electing leaders to rule the country. Dictators like Mugabe fit in well with your twisted and sick thinking because for Zimbabwe or Africa to have competent and capable leaders will disprove you”

VINCENT SAYS: We have discussed this before. If you are confident in your argument, you do not need to insult people. You are no better than Mugabe if you think that my argument is “twisted and sick” simply because I disagree with you.

As I said before, you are obviously allied with the Gritish puppet called Tsvangirai. You do not even bother to hide it. How much are your masters (the white farmers) paying you to patrol these blogs and spread anti-Zimbabwe propaganda?

Africans are capable of independent judgement, and that is why they are resisting huge pressure from Britain and America and blanket lies from the Western media over the Zimbabwe issue. They know the elections were not free and fair, but they also know that Britain’s agenda in Zimbabwe is not about free elections. It is about white settlers, land, and economic interests.

African leaders may be crooks and inept at managing, but they are not idiots. They can see through the agenda of Britain and its puppets lik you and Tsvangirai.

Britain does not care about Zimbabweans (otherwise they would not impose the sanctions that is killing the economy).

Britain does not care aboyt Zimbabweans, that is why it is planning to deport 11,000 Zimbabwean asylum seekers (according to a Guardian report dated July 6, 2008).

What Zimbabwe needs right now is a compromise, a government of national unity or a transition government and not a puppet of Britain and white farmers.

Mugabe must go, but he must not hand over to a puppet. Mutambura or anyone else would do nicely, but not your favorite puppet Tsvangirai.

NB: learn to debate on a public forum without throwing insults.

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive
 

If Vincent wants to debate this way, twisting other people’s words into his own meaning, that’s fine. I will do the same.

VINCENT WROTE: Africans are capable of independent judgement, and that is why they are resisting huge pressure from Britain and America and blanket lies from the Western media over the Zimbabwe issue. They know the elections were not free and fair, but they also know that Britain’s agenda in Zimbabwe is not about free elections. It is about white settlers, land, and economic interests.

African leaders may be crooks and inept at managing, but they are not idiots. They can see through the agenda of Britain and its puppets lik you and Tsvangirai.

MAURICE SAYS: Since you have already admitted that African leaders are “crooks and inept at managing”, why do you say that Africans are capable of “independent judgement”? Do you probably mean “independent” as in a self-serving elite government using funds allocated to them by NGOs for their own benefit rather than that of the people?

You say that we are under “blanket lies from Western media”. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe that the African continent is indeed in conflict and crisis. No matter what the so-called biased Western Media shows, millions of Africans are indeed starving because of the lack of foreign aid, and that is a fact.

You say that Britain does not care about Zimbabweans because they impose sanctions on Zimbabwe when white farms are being redistributed and Zimbabweans are being deported from Britain. Well, do you like it when foreigners show up at your doorstep as refugees (not change of citizenship) en masse? Each country has its own national idendity, and nobody likes foreigners rushing in. The country of Zimbabwe did not collapse like South Vietnam in the 1970s, so there technically should be no real reason for such a large-scale migration unless the country is indeed failing, which you strongly disagree.

Regarding the point of economic sanctions, they are targeted to the leaders of Zimbabwe. Yes, indeed, they hurt the poor guy below. But if you dont have these sanctions, will the guy be any better off, assuming he has no political stance? No, the land reforms ended up in land being handed over to ZANU-PF supporters.

There are indeed success stories in Africa (e.g South Africa), because the government serves its people and not the other way round. So maybe, Vincent, you should first consider the “action” of why 30 000 Zimbabweans are in Britain instead of the “reaction” of these people being deported.

And before you call me another person being fooled by Western media, I would like to ask you from where you get your news sources from?

Posted by Maurice | Report as abusive
 

, are the ordinary Zimbabweans, the man, woman and child, at the coal face of the economic melt down and the political chaos. To you and your friend Mugabe their voices, hopes and despair, suffering and their very lives all count for nothing- they are invisible, they do not exist.

You keep leaving the people out of your calculations and they are the single most important variable in all and any discussion on Zimbabwe. To you Mugabe is more important than 11 million Zimbabweans, more important than the very survival of the whole Zimbabwe nation! Little wander you keep coming out with all this nonsense time and time again!

The West has always had a presence in Zimbabwe long before 2000 when Mugabe seized the white farms. Soon after independence it was the West that poured in millions of dollars into Zimbabwe in the form of aid, grants, etc. It was the Chinese who helped Mugabe in the fight for independence but when he saw the US$ he could not get out of his Mao Tse-tung safari suits quick enough. Even then West started to warn Mugabe about reducing his cabinet, the bloated civil service and army, etc to reduce public expenditure and also about the waste from mismanagement and corruption. So you do not have your facts right to say the West only showed interest in Zimbabwe after Mugabe started seizing white owned farms.

I said “People like you will never ever accept that ordinary Zimbabweans, African, ……” If you are going to quote me or paraphrase then please make sure you get the gist of what I said right. As you can see, I said and meant the exact opposite of you quoted.

So you are advising me not to insult people? And in the next breath you call Tsvangirai a “British puppet”; is that supposed to be a compliment? I do not agree with a lot of things that Tsvangirai has done and have said so here and in many other forums. Still, I would not call him a puppet. You do so because you, like your mentor Mugabe, do not believe he is capable of independent movement (thought); someone else must be pulling the strings!

I am a black Zimbabwean and since I have dared criticise Mugabe, in your pea size brain alarm bells started to ring- he must be paid to do so by the British, white farm owners, etc. You are wrong.

To you reports of 250 000 Zimbabweans being forced to run away from their homes, of over 50 000 beaten and 100 murdered in cold blood are all just that- reports. To me these are not just newspaper reports.

I know Hurungwe where two people were reported killed in the presence of Election Monitors; my aunt and her people live there. I know Jerera Growth Point, in Zaka, where an MDC Office was petrol bombed and three charred bodies were recovered the follow day; I grew up there! I know Gwanda deep in Matebeleland; my Secondary School teacher was born there. These are all my people and, if anybody pays me to criticise Mugabe for what he has done and continues to do to them, then they do.

It is the ordinary, voiceless and down trodden man, woman and child whose lives have been turned up side down who pay me. They do not pay me in silver or gold but in something more precious than that – love, life! No doubt you, Vincent, do not understand that; still I hope and pray that some day you will.

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive
 

While I agree that some states are distancing themselves from Mugabe the overall situation is much more complex. I have recently found a blog post on digg that I believe explains exactly how complicated the situation really is:
http://codrinarsene.com/2008/07/shame-on -you-thabo-mbeki/

Posted by Andrea Moreno | Report as abusive
 

As usual we have ‘human rights bankrupt’ people like Vincent blogging absolute nonsence and showing themselves up as part of the problem.

Mugabe and his fellow henchmen are nothing more than psychopathic murdering maniacs with the hearts of cowards.

They need to be removed forthwith and with great urgency made to stand trial for human rights abuses and for murder.

This is going to happen, unless someone from their midst stops them, and thereby saving the lives of countless thousands.

Their crimes are legion and their corruption has no end – they are more evil than Hitler and are nothing more than a group of savage monsters of absolute violence.

They are the cancer of Africa and Africa needs a cure NOW!

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

The Truth is

You are a man/woman after my own heart. We should not be talking about power sharing arrangements with Mugabe but how the investigations into his past and on-going crimes should be conducted so that it is all properly documented. And how all those response should be rounded up and none escapes.

There are certain things a government of the day should never ever do i.e. turn the Police, Army and other State Security institution on its own defenceless people. All these State organs are there to uphold the law and protect human lives, not the opposite. Mugabe, like Hitler before him, crossed that line! There should, by rights be Nuremberg type trials in Zimbabwe after the dust has settled down. Mark my words, justice will be done in Zimbabwe.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been beaten or/and raped, over one hundred have been murdered and it would all be swept under the carpet if Mugabe and his henchmen retain power. They have a lot to hide and that is why Mugabe will accept nothing else out of the on going talks in SA and most Zimbabweans have resigned ourselves to the reality that Tsvangirai will give in to all Mugabe’s demands.

Tsvangirai has been a great disappointment to many Zimbabweans, he is simply too weak and so has allowed Mugabe and Zanu PF to ride roughshod over him. All his past statements on Mugabe’s treasonable excesses have been feeble. But by pushing Tsvangirai too far Mugabe has undermined the Tsvangirai‘s credibility the next government will be duty bound to disregard whatever comes out of the SA talks. The broken bones of the will tell their story and many of those responsible will still be alive to be charged and their accomplices to give eye-witness account.

Charles Taylor, former President of Liberia, never thought all those threats of one day being forced to account would add up to much. Where is he now! Mugabe and his henchmen too will face the music one of these days! I am against the death penalty, but given the heinous crimes Mugabe and his henchmen have committed I would not be displeased if they are the last Zimbabweans to be hanged!

Vincent

Sorry there is no electrocution in Zimbabwe, no doubt you would have liked the honour of holding Mugabe, your superhero’s, hand when the switch is thrown just to prove you are no fair-weather cheer-leader! Your total indifference to the long suffering of Zimbabweans, you have earned the singular honour.

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive
 

KIRI, ARE YOU RESIDENT IN ZW, OR ARE YOU ONE OF MUGABE’S REPROGRAMMED GIZMOS

Posted by Chie | Report as abusive
 

The problem is saliently that Mugabe is mentally deranged. He should be locked up.

This is the key fact that many morons have extravagantly glossed over or circumnavigated either through fear or a wildly misplaced sense of skewed loyal unity.

This is NOT of course a question of race or colour: this is about criminal insanity infecting a regime that has suppressed, oppressed and abused the people of a once great African nation.

A once successful country has been brought to its knees amongst the ruins of a raped and bludgeoned economy.

People have been tortured and horribly mutilated, murdered/butchered and all in the name of the mad, bad and dangerous to know Mugabe.

Power sharing? Mugabe should be removed, rather than share any power with such a monstrous excuse for a man.

Nothing is more sickening when you get morally bankrupt countries like China and Russia supporting him. And yet it seems cynically appropriate since Russia is a fascist dictatorship and China not much better – both with horrendous human rights records.

The truth does indeed set us free. But so does courage, determination and a refusal to shut up until something is done about these vile psychopaths who grab power and then do their worst.

Like the scorpian who stings and kills, it is in Mugabe’s nature to commit human rights abuses and kill his people and to be nothing more than what he is: an evil little man with the heart of a darkness.

If there is a hell, we can be assured that he is on his way to it in a basket.

It is just a matter of time…

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

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