Zimbabwe sinking fast

December 2, 2008

From a distance it is always hard to picture just how hard life is in Zimbabwe and to imagine how much worse it can get. For so long we have been writing about economic collapse, inflation statistics beyond comprehension, the fact that at least a quarter of the country has fled to seek work abroad and that life expectancy has tumbled.

Commentators have long spoken of the dangers of a possible ‘meltdown’. The signs of what that might look like have grown stronger this week.

The death toll from the worst cholera epidemic in recent records is near 500 – and possibly double – with shortages of water in Harare and elsewhere and a health system hopelessly ill equipped to cope. Not so long ago, one of the region’s more prosperous countries would probably have been able to prevent an outbreak of cholera and would certainly have been able to treat it.

Unprecedented clashes on Monday between what the army described as “indisciplined” soldiers and Zimbabweans have added to fears the situation could get out of hand. The army understandably said it was worried by the troubles, put down by police. As too many other African countries have found out, angry soldiers can prove a danger to everyone.

Banks are so short of cash that queuing for almost worthless notes has become a full time occupation for some of those lucky enough to – in theory at least – have jobs. But the amount of cash the banks can give out each day is often not enough to buy a loaf of bread.

President Robert Mugabe’s government says the health system and economy are foundering because of sanctions imposed by Western powers it says are trying to oust him for seizing thousands of white-owned farms and redistributing the land to black Zimbabweans.

Mugabe’s critics, such as opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, say it is his policies that have ruined Zimbabwe.

But no matter who is to blame, the situation looks dangerously as though it could get beyond anyone’s control.

Should the crisis force Tsvangirai to join Mugabe in the power-sharing government they had agreed to – even if he doesn’t get all the posts that he wanted? Should Mugabe give way to the opposition leader’s demands? Tsvangirai’s MDC said talks between the parties on the unity government would resume in two weeks. Is that soon enough? Does Zimbabwe have any choice but a deal between the two old rivals?


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Rob and the other Rhodesians

Why are you attacking me personally? The truth hurts, yes?

If you all care so much about Zimbabwe and its people, why are you not flooding the country with medicines and food instead of focusing on regime change?

If you all really love Zimbabwe, why are you not campaigning for the devastating economic sanctions to be lifted so ordinary Zimbabweans can feed their family and bring down the record inflation?

If you love Zimbabwe, why are you not putting pressure on BOTH Mugabe and Tsvangirai to reach a deal instead of seeking regime change at all costs?

If you love Zimbabwe so much, why did you refuse to share the land that you originally stole? Black Zimbabweans gave you the opportunity to keep some of the land and share the remainder with landless blacks (despite the fact that you treated them like sub-humans during the apartheid regime) but you were too greedy and cruel to share.

Africans and African leaders can see through your charade…

Posted by African | Report as abusive

On a surface level the many and escalating international calls for Robert Mugabe ‘to go’ could not be more clear cut. Many would find tremendous satisfaction at the idea of a passionately hated Mugabe to be forced out of office one way or another. For a good part of the population in Zimbabwe (I find myself unable to confidently say an overwhelming majority) and particularly in many parts of the Western world (not necessarily for the same reasons) Mugabe the person has come to symbolise all that has gone wrong in Zimbabwe. Whether this is fair or correct will occupy scholars for decades to come.

For those for whom Mugabe has become the symbol of evil, the question of what exactly is hoped will be achieved by his departure probably sounds silly, if not downright suspicious or outrageous. Isn’t it obvious why Mugabe must go?

To some it is indeed obvious that once such an ‘evil’ presence is out of power, things in Zimbabwe must somehow improve, almost no matter what else happens in addition to the removal of Mugabe from power. To others, it really doesn’t matter all that much what happens afterwards as long as the hate-inspiring personage of Mugabe is no longer on the scene.

The first assumption is naive, the second cynical. Unfortunately, both naivete and cynicism account for a lot of the (particularly distant) reaction to “The Zimbabwe Crisis.” It has become such a symbolic cause for so many different things that for a lot of people, what becomes of the Zimbabweans is secondary. Many oppose or support what Mugabe symbolises for them (ideologically, racially, etc) more than they care about the eventual outcome of Zimbabwe’s multi-layered problems for its people.

Here are just a few of the many relevant but unclear details it would be necessary to know about the ‘Mugabe must go’ campaign.

Would it be considered enough for he as an individual to step down and be replaced by someone else from within his party to carry on with the currently stalled power-sharing talks between ZANU-PF and the opposition MDC? Or are the calls really for Mugabe and his ZANU-PF to resign as the government and hand over power to the MDC, based on the latter’s win of a slight majority in the recent parliamentary and presidential election?

There is the fact that the MDC won more seats than ZANU-PF in the parliamentary election of March 2008. And even according to government figures that many believe to have been fixed to save face for Mugabe, he was outpolled by Tsvangirai in the presidential contest, though eledgedly closely enoug to require a run off. Mugabe’s legalistic reason for claiming to be the legitimate president who cannot be told ‘to go’ is that Tsvangirai chose not to stand in the run-off, automatically forfeiting the presidency to Mugabe.

Posted by kenyan | Report as abusive

African and other coocoo africans on this blog, please move over to the 21st century because clearly your mind is not. I am not from the U.K. or U.S. or any of the other countries you conspiracy theorist dream of in your mind. British colony, overtaking your land….kill it. It is done. It is time to worry about now and the future. Nothing else matters. Know your history so that you know how to avoid mistakes in the future. I am from Nigeria. Some of my people were killed in the current conflict in Jos. It was a very sad event and frankly not happy to see events like that unfold in this day and age. All we can do now is to work on the situation so that it does not repeat itself again.

You also cannot blame people for suggesting military actions because the democratic process of trying to get Mugabe out has failed for over many years now. He has been ruling since the 1980s. The west has called for him to step down and frankly, the African Union members that did not force him out are cowards and they are examples of idiots in our continent that hinder progress.

It is as simple as this in business. If a business is bankrupt, you as a lender or donator, will you give that business money or lend it money under the same CEO? Especially if that business was financially stable. If you agree the answer is no, then why should the western nations go in there and help Zimbabwe, lift all the sanctions when you still have this devil and his govt. as a ruler so that when he gets all the money to solve the crisis, he will still be there when they have been resolved. There needs to be a change of leadership.

The west is not going to intervene which is why they are saying the southern african nations deal with this issue. And frankly, I agree it is time for we africans to step up. African Union’s response today waqs very disappointing. It is high time you bring pressure on Mugabe and other leaders in our continent that are performing their tasks.

Posted by Believer in the story of Africa | Report as abusive

Believer in the story of Africa

You seem to be the one living in coocoo land. Otherwise, you would have known that Nigeria has never held elections as democratic as the ones held in Zimbabwe. Elections are always rigged in Nigeria, voters are bribed, politicians hire thugs to scare people away from polling stations so that balot boxes can be stuffed, they hire thugs to hack opposition supporters with matchetes, and hundreds of people always die in such violence. Compared with Nigeria, Zimbabwe is a democratic heaven.

Yet, why is it that we never had such a blanket campaign for democracy in Nigeria as the BBC, CNN, and Rhodesians are launching against Zimbabwe? Even when the brutal dictator Abacha was slaughtering Ngerians and ronbbing the country blind, did the British prime minister rush to the Security Council to call for sanctions? Did the West impose an economic blockade?

Why not? Because there were no white farmers losing their ill-gotten land in Nigeria.

10,000 Africans have died in Somalia, people are starving in Ethiopia because of famine, 4 million have died in Congo, Egypt has been under martial law for almost 30 years and the opposition is banned… Why are the British, the CNN, and BBC not launching such a massive campaign for “democracy” in these countries? Because no white farmers are in danger of losing their ill-gotten privileges.

Zimbabwe is an African country. Mugabe is an African leader. Why are the British and other Europeans so obsessed with it?

I am not saying that we Africans should not criticize or even tell Mugabe to go. We should do it not because it pleases some British colonial masters or apartheid Rhodesians. We should do it because it is good for us.

They are merely pursuing their naked agenda in Zimbabwe. If they really care, they should lift the economic sanctions. Right now, what they are doing is trying to starve black Zimbabweans to force them to rise up against Mugabe. That is cruel and evil. The people of Zimbabwe should decide for themselves when it is time to send Mugabe packing and not do it because some evil Rhodesians are starving them into submission.

That is not about the past. It is about today. Al this propoaganda is taking place tofday and not in the past, and it is not because the Europeans love Zimbabwe so much. It is because they have their own agenda inside Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is the new Iraq and cholera is the Weapons of Mass Destruction that they are attempting to use to justify the implementation of their agenda.

Posted by African | Report as abusive

This so called African certainly lives in cockooland. Why cant Mugabe lose elections and leave peacefully without crying foul or regime change agenda? Wat makes you think that we Zimbabweans cannot decide for ourselves who we want to be our president? Mugabe is an illegitimate president ad please don’t even talk about the joke of a run-off as an election. If you and other like minded bigots can just let us decide for ourselves we are just fine but no, you just have to kill, kill some more and kill again because we didn’t vote for a pretentious old coot who thinks he has divine right to rule. Now you cannot even run that country, you have milked it dry literally and you are not done yet until every last one of us is dead. If you love Zimbabwe that much, let it be. Love Zimbabwe enough to respect its people. Sanctions? there are because you have stolen the right of people to make their own decisions, you have been killing and abusing your own people. You think because Nigerians kill each other then its ok for you to be allowed to kill your own people without external interference? What kind of crap is that?


African is saying that Zimbabweans should be left to solve their problems. The Europeans have never had the interests of Africans in mind. The greatest evil perpetrated against Africans over the centuries was by Europeans.

The Zimbabweans or neighboring countries should solve their own problems. Briatin and the USA (and their Rhodesian allies) should stop bankrolling the MDC (that is illegal).

They should also lift the sanctions so that ordinary Zimbabweans can feed their families.

It is ironic that a Rhodesian like you is calling an African a bigot after all the evil your fathers and grandfathers perpetrated in Zimbabwe.

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive

Hahaha, me a Rhodesian? Vincent and the alleged African, I am a black Zimbabwean and a victim many times over of Mugabe’s atrocities, the latest of which was a severe thrashing metted out on my 65 year mother by Mugabe’s thugs in my rural area ‘for feeding enemies’ MDC. and all she had done was give them water! So find something else to waffle about, but saying Mugabe should be allowed t kill and maim as he likes is plain stupidity. People like you and African deserve Mugabe but please let Zimbabwe be!

I love Zimbabwe with all my heart! The time shall come when the racist Rhodesians and their puppets will be silenced.

Only time will tell. Icho!

Posted by Willom | Report as abusive


Like I said before, move into the 21st century and stop living in the past. Your comment is “Nigeria has never held elections as democratic as the ones held in Zimbabwe.” So Zimbabwe has done a democratic election. Mugabe has been ruling since the 1980s. That is democratic. Mugabe lost this election but bullied his way through, beat the opposition supporters, killed people and that is the democratic. How intelligent?

You mentioned all the flaws we have in Nigeria and you never heard me say we are perfect. What I said was we need to improve our nation and continent. You are still mentioning past problems (Abacha, robbing the country etc.) and I have said, your mind needs to move into the 21st century. For your info, Nigeria was sanctioned when Abach a was ruling. Check your facts before you think of writing something here.

I do not know where you live but the cases in Congo, Ehtopia, Egypt and militants attacks in Nigeria are very well broadcasted on tv. The difference between those countries and Zimbabwe is that politically, those countries may be dead, but they are striving or trying to strive economically. Zimbabwe is dead politically and economically.

The western nations may or may not care about the white farmers. Comapred to the recession they are having in their countries, the losses in Zimbabwe is peanut. They are oushing for it because we Africans are the same people that will go to their doormats and ask them for loans and money to bail Zimbabwe out. We Africans are the ones that will be crying for the west to come and help us in Darfur and other crisis. The fact is they are tired of doing that without us showing initiative and change. You think of it yourself, why should the western nations open their doors for trade or loan money to Zimbabwe with Mugabe still at the helm and after he has slaughtered people.

Africans are not doing this to please the British and other Europeans. We are doing this for ourselves. Using your same ration, the people of Zimbabwe have already decided to send Mugabe packing. They elected Morgan Tsavangiari. What did Mugabe do? He did not leave. So stop saying they did not decide for themselves to send Mugabe packing.

I don’t know and I don’t care if Europeans love Zimbabwe so much. What I do know is that if I live in another city and everyttime you are in trouble, you tell me to buy goods from you or loan you some money so that u can get better and then later on you squander it. After you squander it, you come to me again for some money. Why should I give you more money? Why shouldn’t I demand that you leave that house so that children, men and women who live under you can survive?

Europeans have their own agenda inisde Zimbabwe by using cholera as weapons of mass destruction. I don’t know if that is crazy or stupid or a combination of both. The western nations are encouraging African Nations to force Mugabe to take responsibility for his dumb and terrible actions, both present and past. They are not invading Zimbabwe so smarten up my friend. Mugabe does not want to leave because he his afraid he will be in jail for the rest of his life after he faces tria; at the international courts.

Posted by Believer in the story of Africa | Report as abusive

The starvation and active selfishness and madness has lead Zimbabwe as a nation to its knees. For Africa to not support the UN, or the decleration of human rights is murder by standing by and doing nothing. the only defense seem to be in part due, to the insane rebuttle as always …by Robert Mugabe that the old imperilists are trying to enslave his nation once more. WAKE UP AFRICA. In this regard the african politicians are as guilty of this as Mugabe. When I die does it matter from which part of the world i am from? Still the african leaders are being held captive within the past. Mugabe\’s reasonings come as he knows that the rest of Africa will fall back into line as soon as the word imperilst is mentioned. Unless this is addressed the world will continue to be a very easy place to manipulate others views through reactionary actions and the open bloodshed will continue
Who was it again that said, \”until the colour of a humans skin is of no more significance than the colour of there eyes.\”

You see , in part this reaction galvanises the deluded view that we as human beings are not allowed to voice our views, If I am from a specific place on earth what rights have I to voice a opinion. This is the madness we have to face and stop, otherwise we are lost

Robert G Mugabe is not a true liberator of Zimbabwe. He just happens to have survived longer than other nationalist leaders whom he ruthlessly killed throughout the Zimbabwe struggle. He killed other leaders or anybody who happened to oppse him, just as he does today. True, the struggle in Zimbabwe and other colonies has always been for the land. But the “land” has never been literal. It has always meant “the means of survival”, in a similar way “pecus” means money and not literally “cow”, in the English language. The liberation spirit was to free the people so that they could freely harvest the products of their toils. It did not matter who owned the land as long as the people got their fair share of the harvest. Most African leaders are so stupid and misguided that they think that perennially accusing the Europeans of colonialism is a mark of true leadership. Most of Europe was also once colonised by other cultures before but they have put history where it belongs and set out to develop their national identities and political, intellectual, economic and cultural powers. Because of the size of the population, technological advancement and modern standards of living, land is nolonger a prerogative today. Zimbabwe should have kept the white farmers on the land producing food for its urban middle and upper class African population instead of throwing them out and be sitting with big farms no-one is willing or able to farm. A true leader is one who is able to interact with the rest of the world in such a way that his people are healthy, wellfed and able to command mutual respect with the rest of the civilized world.

Posted by Mt Mutezo | Report as abusive

To African and his friends, what is wrong with White Europeans and Americans “LOOKING OUT” for their fellow White brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe?

If we Africans (leaders and followers) “LOOK OUT” for our fellow African brothers and sisters the same way the Europeans do, the lot of the African in Africa will be so much better.

Please lets call a spade a spade. We are Africans are our own worst enemies, not the White man. We just don’t care for our fellow Africans as much as we should.

By the way African, please check your facts before you post. Many of your Nigeria facts are way WRONG!!!.

Posted by Rebel | Report as abusive

maltreatment of Africans in dispora no matter their profession was their leader’s cause, what is in a leader if mentality and conceit is lack,the joy of Arican citizens supposed to be the leaders pride.African leaders should save the remaning lives in zimbabwe.

Posted by God first | Report as abusive

Believer in the story of Africa

My African brother, What I am saying is that all this noise about Zimbabwe is unwarranted. The people are suffering mainly because of the economic sanctions imposed by the same Britain and America. These sanctions do not affect Mugabe or Tsvangirai.

What I am saying is that this fight is betweem Mugabe and Britain/Rhodesians, but the people who are suffering are ordinary black Zimbabweans.

Tell me, why are these people not lifting the economic sanctions? Why not just seize the assets of Mugabe and his officials without ruining the economy with sanctions? That is my main problem here.

The fight between Mugabe and Britain/Rhodesia is because of land and not because of democracy. Britain and America do not care about democracy in Africa because they are the sponsors of most of the dictators in the continent, including those that do not even bother to hold elections.

I used the case of Nigeria as an example because elections there are far less democratic than Zimbabwe. How was Yaradua elected? Through massive rigging. International observers declared the election illegal, but Yaradua is still there. Nobody has imposed economic sanctions on Nigeria for that. That is the 21sy century, my brother not the past.

Regarding Tsvangirai. He never won any elecytion. He won 49.1% of the votes in the first round (according to his own figures), meaning that at least 50% of Zimbabweans rejected him. He refused to contest the second round because of “violence” against his supporters. This violence we are talking about is less than the violence that took place in Nigeria’s presidential electiuons. That is fact.

Tsvangirai withdrew because the people financing him (Britain and the Rhodesians) told him to withdraw. Mbeki negotiated a deal, they told him not to accept and they are now trying to use cholera to as an excuse to install him. In the same week that the cholera outbreak killed about 500 people, around the same number died in eleigious violence in Nigeria, but nobody told Yaradua to step down.

Again, what I am saying is that the British and the Rhodesians should lift the economic sanctions because the sancions are ruining the lives of black Zimbabweans while Mugabe, Tsvangirai, and Rhodesians are living wealthy lives.

Why can’t they lift the sanctions so that ordinary Zimbabweans can feed their families while Mugabe and Tsvangirai try to solve their power struggle. Why

Would you be happy if Nigeria’s economy were ruined by Western economic sanctions because of Abacha?

Posted by African | Report as abusive

African – i’m not a white farmer! I’m a city boy! You have no idea about zimbabwe, you seem to think you do but you obviously don’t in the way you write . I think you should try and live in the contry before you start passing such ridiculous judgement.

You have certain views that are so one sided and bent you have no hope of seeing the truth. White farmers aside – the people suffering most at the moment are not white farmers but the blacks living in squalor on the street, people who used to have jobs, maybe even jobs on farms of the white man. They need our help the most but unfortunately any aid sent to Zim is rounded up by bob and his buddies and used as a bargaining tool. Aid does not reach it’s desired location with ease so as much as i’d like to help there are certain restrictions in place – you follow?

Like i said you have no idea and should stick to generalising and tall stories without any fact, you sound delusional – you should be working for ZANU-PF as a spokesman.

FYI – apartheid was in South Africa.

Posted by Rob | Report as abusive

In addition to the stalemate between Mugabe and Tsvangirai, there is the entrenched thinking held by many Mugabe forces within the military and the population as a whole. As evidenced by some of the comments to this post, blaming the British and the U.S. for Mugabe’s gross failings enables those in power and their supporters to justify the collapse of the state. I am reminded of the Bush Administrations rallying cry “9/11″ as the excuse for its own policy failures in America.

To African & Willom

I am deeply saddened to see that there are people out there who still believe the collapse of Zimbabwe is a Western plot to re-colonise the country. The propaganda produced by the Zanu-PF (so called/self proclaimed) government is arrant nonsense. Cholera and anthrax were seeded by the West in order to bring down the administration? Spare me!!

I am a black African who lived in Zim for several years and I continue to monitor the situation closely. Whether Sudan, Somalia or any other ‘hot zone’ in the world receives as many column inches as Zimbabwe is simply irrelevant. The fact of the matter is Mugabe, ZANU PF and latterly the JOC have presided over some of the most egregious violations of human rights ever perpetrated in a ‘democracy’. You have to look to dictatorships, totalitarian regimes and failed states (e.g. North Korea, Somalia) to find parallels for what is happening in Zim.

ZANU PF and the JOC (let me not say Mugabe, he is old, and possibly not of sound mind) are the architects of the total economic collapse of one of the jewels of Africa. This is not something that was imposed from outside let me assure you. The sanctions you speak of are targeted at 178 priveledged individuals and their assets. Companies are still free to trade with Zim if they have the appetite for the risk. Some do and Gideon Gono grabs their forex with impunity, whenever he feels like it. Other than humanitarian and some health interventions, development aid flows have dried up. That is because most responsible donors require a modicum of good governance to be in place in order commit and disburse development aid. RBZ recently helped itself to several million US dollars flowing through its accounts, from the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria. The Global Fund suspended its programme as a result. Mr Gono has had to commit to refunding the money. These funds were meant to save the lives of HIV/AIDS sufferers through ART, help care givers to deliver palliative care to terminally ill patients, boost the awareness message, promote VCT etc.This is one of the few aid programmes still active in Zim and ZANU PF targeted it for their own selfish ends. Who cares about the infected and affected? ZANU PF doesn’t (unless its their own family members in which case they will obtain treatment through other means).

As for the farm invasions, in the late 90s/early 2000s the UK govt and the Saudis amongst others, offered to fund an orderly and fair process of valuation, transfer and restitution of farms. These offers were rejected by Mugabe as an orderly process did not suit his political goal which was to a) create a political battleground on which to fight the MDC, through the use of hyperbole, the politics of fear and mis-direction, b) attack a section of the MDC’s power base (farmers = funding, farm workers = votes) and c) as a sop to the war vets after some of his cohorts decimated the war vets pension fund. The only aim of the farm invasions was to stay in power in the face of the 1st credible opposition in years, if not ever. Zimbabwean farmers are now working and boosting the economies of Zambia, Mozambique and Nigeria amongst others, with their commercial farming experience and nous. You do not break your country’s economy to achieve equality of land ownership! What equality? Those allocated farms were never given inputs, implements or skills. Some actually starved on the land they were given!! Zim went from a highly advanced, mechanised producer of foodstuffs for the region as well as high end agricultural exports to European markets (cut flowers etc) to subsistence farming, within 5 years. WHAT AN ACHIEVEMENT! (remember I am a black African – I have no particular affinity for white farmers other than the fact that they were a key contributor to the economy of the country in which I lived).

The cholera epidemic is merely a symptom of a collapsed health care system and water & sanitation infrastructure. The people of Zimbabwe are dying not because of some Western agenda but because of the failed policies, corruption, disdain and downright vindictiveness of their Government. I am an economist and when I finished high school, my World view was that Africa continued to struggle under the yoke of its colonial legacy and many of our problems could be traced to that source. After 20 years in the development arena my view has changed. The rapacious nature of many African leaders and the supine acquiesence with which we as the voting public, buy into the cult of personality which is what passes for politics in many African countries, is a huge (but not the only) contributor.

The advent of the AU, the African renaissance, NEPAD etc, was supposed to usher out the ‘old boys club’ and usher in an era where African leaders would hold their brothers (and sister – musn’t forget President Johnson Sirleaf)to account for good governance, observance of human rights and all the good things which we aspire to in a civilised society (and no I don’t mean Western civilised – even in traditional African society you don’t kill and imprison your own people, starve them etc, and expect to remain in power). Unfortunately it would appear that SADC leaders talked a good game but when it comes down to it, they are ‘fiddling while Zimbabwe burns’. History will judge them harshly and the only leaders who emerge from this with any credit whatsover are Prime Minister Odinga, President Khama and the late President Mwanawasa. I will single out Thabo Mbeki for particular vilification. His role as a ‘propper upper’ of Mugabe and the damage he has done through years of quiet diplomacy and now as a so called mediator, cannot be underestimated. He must shoulder his share of the blame for some of what is happening now. He is biased in favor of his ‘Uncle’ (we are all African we know what this term/concept means) and was the architect of the dogs breakfast of a GONU deal that will never ever deliver Zimbabwe from the abyss. The reality of the situation is that with Mugabe and his cronies anywhere near the seat of power, Zimbabwe doesn’t have a hope in hell. The only hope for that country is the complete dismantling of the system of mis-rule, patronage, corruption and oppression created by this venomous and vampiritic regime. Mugabe and Co are like ticks, growing fat on the blood of their people but the problem is, the blood is running out and when the host is dead the parasite will die also.

I think I’ve said enough but to African & Willom – “by their works so shall ye know them” – we have seen Mugabe and the JOC’s works and we know them and recognise them for what they are. I hope you will too, in time.

Posted by Afrocentric | Report as abusive

Quite sad to see and to hear what is happening down in Zimbabwe. I feel our dear friends but more so the children and women and all those who as per now can not be able to access medical care.Where are our trusted world leaders.Mugabe need removed yesterday

Posted by Gerald | Report as abusive


What African is saying is that blacks are living in squalor because of the economic sanctions. Mugabe definitely is partly responsible for these problems, but the economic sanctions are a major factor.

In my opinion, it is ridiculous that everybody prefers to blame Mugabe and refuses to discuss the economic sanctions.

Why not impose sanctions on Mugabe and his allies alone and not the entire country? What have the people of Zimbabwe done to deserve these sanctions? Why are you and Western media organizations bent on denying the havoc that these sanctions are causing? That is where my suspicion comes from.

I have to say that African is right. In your previous arguments you sounded like those of Rhodesians or an MDC member.

FYI — apartheid is not limited to South Africa. By definition, an apartheid system is a racist system similar to the one operated in South Africa (racist minority rule, oppression and disenfranchisement of the majority based on their race)…

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive


What African is saying is that blacks are living in squalor because of the economic sanctions. Mugabe definitely is partly responsible for these problems, but the economic sanctions are a major factor.

In my opinion, it is ridiculous that everybody prefers to blame Mugabe and refuses to discuss the economic sanctions.

Why not impose sanctions on Mugabe and his allies alone and not the entire country? What have the people of Zimbabwe done to deserve these sanctions? Why are you and Western media organizations bent on denying the havoc that these sanctions are causing? That is where my suspicion comes from.

I have to say that African is right. In your previous arguments you sounded like those of Rhodesians or an MDC member.

FYI — apartheid is not limited to South Africa. By definition, an apartheid system is a racist system similar to the one operated in South Africa (racist minority rule, oppression and disenfranchisement of the majority based on their race)…

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive

Africa, you seem to think that the UK and the USA care about zimbabwean farmers be they either white or black. They don’t. The dispute about land is in Mugabes own head which he used as a political ploy to galvanise support among other african leaders so they would turn a blind eye to his murderous agenda. This support would now appear to be on the wane as even they cannot defend the indefensible.

Compensation in relation to land was withheld because it would only have assisted in the building of the patronage system. Little good that did though seeing that Zimbabwe is now on the precipice of being a failed state.

I would be interested in hearing your views on how Rhodesia, as it was then, was capable of feeding its own people under much stricter sanctions than the targeted sanctions now in place. Would it have anything to do with the fact that Mugabes Zanu cronies who are in possession of these farms are more concerned by making a quick buck selling farm supplies and subsidies than helping to feed the nation. How is it that his wife got a farm? In what democratic country with political transparency could this happen?

The point your missing is that western governments, unlike Zimbabwe, have to answer to the voting public. Hence if the UK poured money into Zimbabwe to compensate landless blacks and Comrade Bob used it to line his cronies pockets then there would have been serious questions to answer for that government with real consequences. The UK government was never going to take Mugabe on his word when he refused to allow a system to be put in place to prevent such corruption. He did his usual trick and spouted nonsense about the sovereignty of Zimbabwe. Ultimately the UK has been proved right in what it did.

Mugabe has been completely incompetant when it comes to running a country. Had he been in any way moral or capable he would have instituted a land programme that would have kept food on the populations table. He has introduced assinine policies for political expediency as opposed to the long term social and economic gain of Zimbabwe. He day is over and his legacy will be that of a incompetant despotic megolmanic. The irony of course is that when he goes and money starts coming in to the country again “zimbabwe will be a colony again” to the donor nations like the UK the US and of course China.

It is clear that democracy does not work in many African countries. If you despise the west and what it stands for why not expouse the virtues of africans countries standing on their own feet without their hands out for western aid. Should that not be the priority for the proud african?

Posted by connor | Report as abusive

THERE are growing fears that there is more to the cholera outbreak than meets the eye following revelations by the US State Department that it has been preparing for the outbreak for quite sometime. The outbreak began last August though the US hinted at years of preparation.

In a briefing with the US State Department on Thursday, attended by Ambassador to Zimbabwe James D. McGee and Director of the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance Ky Luu in Washington; United States Agency for International Develop-ment administrator Ms Henrietta Fore said the US had long prepared for the epidemic.
‘‘The United States, working alongside the international community, has been preparing for a cholera outbreak for quite some time. Before the disease was widespread, Usaid began building contingencies into its ongoing emergency programmes, allowing us to quickly direct our assistance to specific targets for cholera outbreaks,’’ Fore said, raising the fears that her country may have launched biological warfare on Zimbabwe.
US attempts to use cholera as an excuse to mobilise military action against Zimbabwe have fuelled suspicions of biological warfare.
Despite assurances from the Ministry of Health that fatalities were going down, Ky predicted that the outbreak would intensify over the festive season.
McGee said he hoped the intensification would force the UN to invoke the responsibility to protect proviso to facilitate invasion.

Posted by Willom | Report as abusive

President Mugabe is one of Africa’s Greatest Liberation Heroes ever , this is a fact plain and simple. So how can it be that this highly educated African hero, once held up by Western Impearlist countries like the British and Americans as a fine example of a good (Black) leder and democrat suddenly overnight become a African Dictator in their eyes. LAND REFORM and his Black Empowerment polices, has led the IMPERALIST to set in place policies, like illegal and devastating SANCTIONS in a well calculated and organised immoral crusade to remove him and install the IMPEARLIST front party the MDC. ZMBABAWE spotlight in the International media can be traced back to the start of LAND REFORM. Tony Blair , refused to honor the payment to the WHITE mainly British farmers as agreed under the Independence agreement known as the LANCASTER HOUSE AGREEMENT. Blair excuse for not paying the compensation to the white farmers was that it would deter foreign investment in Zimbabawe. President Mugabe and his Goverment knew this was a lie , and the real reason was to buy more time for the 4000 white farmers who controlled over 80% of Zimbabwes vast and best arable LANDS. President Mugabe under huge pressure from the WAR VETARNS ASSOSICATION , and many other landless groups , decided to fast track LAND REFORM. The western private pro Imperialist media houses , without doubt prompted by their political masters went into over drive and portrayed the WHITE colonist farmers as the victims and the indegenous Zimbabaweans at last reclaiming their stolen LANDS as criminals. Since the start of LAND REFORM , THE PRO Imperialist private media houses have been relentless in their well planned demonetisation and dehumanization of President Mugabe. The western Impearlist media have accused him just about everything, the chronic drought , Aids, even Cholera . behind all the false concern and crocodile tears , what rally is British and American IMPEARLIST intrest in Zimbabawe. Zimbabawe has vast quantities of some of the worlds most vital minerals, and without doubt has some of the worlds most fertile farmland. Mineral reserves and farmland , are two of the many reasons Imperialism has decided that President Mugabe has outlived his usefulness ,and his a thorn in their side to the recolonising of ZIMBABAWES RESOURCES, and stem China growing investment in ZIMBABAWE and Africa in general. Britian and America prop up between them some of the most evil and despotic regimes on the planet,where uttering the word Democracy would be a death sentence , yet they try and convince the world through their poodle Media that President Mugabe who has overseen the resettlement of over three hundred thousand indegenous ZIMBABAWEANS back on their tribal lands stole by white EUROPEAN INVADERS , and other commendable polices to empower the indegenous Zimbabaweans, is a dictator. Although the West has used the Cholera outbreak to further demonise President Mugabe, they to date have not given one cent to help contain the outbreak, and the WESTERN MEDIA , never divulge that the illegal SANCTIONS imposed on ZIMBABAWE , is one of the major factor for the CHOLERA SPREAD ,because the SANCTINS have denied Zimbabawe the right t buy vital water purifying chemical and other equipment vital for water treatment.

Posted by bernard | Report as abusive

Why are Europeans so affected by Zimbabwe .I just don’t get it doesn’t the west and Europe have enough problems like terrorists and collapsing economies to deal with.

You can bash Africa and Mugabe all you want. But it is our Africa and He is Our Mugabe. Not yours ours! Human rights violators in white hall have no right to talk about Africa. Colonialism and the crimes committed in Africa have never been forgotten.

I feel sorrt for Europeans all putting down Africa so that you can feel good about yourselves .Grow up te world has changed .It no longer revolves around Europe .That Era is over and gone for good

Posted by joe | Report as abusive

there is no government in zimbabwe. the sham that passes for one is a group of lackeys, cronies and yes-men for robert mugabe.
as bitter as the pill of land redistribution to his followers was to swallow the economic disaster that has ensued is horrendous.
while i believe that most political leaders will say almost anything to maintain their position, robert mugabe is a liar,for there is no other word for it, of major scale. the statement that the cholera epidemic has been contained is not supported by any shred of fact and is further evidence of how far he will go to maintain power at the expense of his country’s physical and economic health.

Posted by ron poland | Report as abusive

there is no government in zimbabwe. the sham that passes for one is a group of lackeys, cronies and yes-men for robert mugabe.
as bitter as the pill of land redistribution to his followers was to swallow the economic disaster that has ensued is horrendous.
while i believe that most political leaders will say almost anything to maintain their position, robert mugabe is a liar,for there is no other word for it, of major scale. the statement that the cholera epidemic has been contained is not supported by any shred of fact and is further evidence of how far he will go to maintain power at the expense of his country\’s physical and economic health.

Posted by ron poland | Report as abusive

Just to rebut some of the pro-ZANU PF propaganda appearing on these posts.
Contrary to the assertions of ‘African’ and his supporters, there are no western trade sanctions on Zimbabwe, bar those on military equipment.
Up until a few years ago, Zimbabwe still had a trade surplus with the UK.
Indeed Zimbabwe-farmed tilapia fish continues to be available from all good Waitrose supermarket counters in the UK. It is delicious.
Zimbabwe’s demise is by-and-large the fault of government mis-management, not non-existent trade sanctions.

Posted by chris thompson | Report as abusive

Chris Thompson

Do a little googling and you will find the following:

The Zimbabwe Democracy and Econmic Recovery Act of 2001 (ZIDERA) was pased in 2001 by the US Congress (sponsored by the notorious pro-Rhodesian racist Jesse Helms) imposed blanket economic sanctions on Zimbabwe.

In particular, ZIDERA blocks Zimbabwe’s access to the international financial system through the multilateral financial agencies:

The International Monetary Fund
The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The International Development Association
The International Finance Corporation,
the Inter-American Development Bank,
the Asian Development Bank,
the Inter-American Investment Corporation,
the African Development Bank,
the African Development Fund,
the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency.

As a result, the IMF expelled Zimbabwe and consequently the international ratings agencies cut Zimbabwe’s ratings. This means that Zimbabwe cannot get credit guarantees and international investment.

This means no currency exchange. One of the results of this is that Zimbabwe cannot import ordinary chgemicals tfor treating water. Hence, cholera.

What we have here is not just economic sanction but an economic embargo. So, stop denying. It is collective punishment of all Zimbabweans because Mugabe seized land from Rhodesians.

Posted by African | Report as abusive

Zim is in dire need for change to usher in external assistance. Right now I am writing this from abt just less than 1km from Mabvuku where the area has not had water for almost 3 or 5 continous years. People are dying and people have died. The source of water for most people is from unprotected areas and collection points are a few metres from burst sewages.
So far the Govt does not have any idea what to do with this problem.
Prices for basic commodities are expensive in Z$ for the common men and worse shops are now charging in forex, rands, US$ and 99.9% of people cannot afford this. The prices are ridiculous and really unbelievable. Imagine a 750ml bottle of paraffin selling for 25rands, a wheel barrow full of firewood 60rands, a 2litre cooking oil bottle costing about 10US$. As it is the current govt does not care for the common man. We have suffered enough and need new people with fresh ideas, we dont care who comes in, what is true is, the current govt has failed and should move out.
For how long should we keep on suffering like this!!
God bless Zimbabwe and its people excluding Mugabe and his cronies, may they rot in hell when peace returns to Zim.

Posted by Ma-One | Report as abusive

Regarding cholera.

Britain and its Western allies (particularly where Rhodesians have significant influence) are trying to use cholera in Zimbabwe the same way they used fictitious WMD in Iraq: an excuse to implement their deadly agenda.

Here are some recent cholera outbreaks in Africa and Iraq (which is controlled by the USA), but we did not have the Prime Minister of Britain rushing to the United Nations Security Council to demand removal of the leaders of these countries. Does this mean that Britain and the USA love Zimbabweans more than all other countries that have suffered a cholera outbreak?:

May 2006: ANGOLA — Cholera outbreak in Angola killed more than 1,200 people, about 35,000 people infected (
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/499096 0.stm )

February 2007: ETHIOPIA — cholera epidemic in Ethiopia 684 killed nearly 60,000 infected ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2007/feb  /22/ethiopia )

October 2007: IRAQ — Since the cholera outbreak was first detected in Kirkuk, Northern Iraq, on 14 August 2007, it has spread to 9 out of 18 provinces across Iraq. It is estimated that more than 30 000 people have fallen ill with acute watery diarrhoea
( http://www.who.int/csr/don/2007_10_03/en  /index.html )

September 2008: NIGERIA — Cholera outbreak kills 97 in northern Nigeria (
http://www.irinnews.org/report.aspx?Repo rtID=80531 )

September 2008: GUINEA BISSAU — Since the beginning of May 2008, Guinea-Bissau has been facing a large cholera outbreak. As of 21 September, 7 166 cases had been reported throughout the country, among whom 133 people had died
( http://www.who.int/csr/don/2008_09_24/en  /index.html )

Posted by African | Report as abusive

Just to rebut ‘African’; more ill-informed ZANU-PF propaganda regarding fictional “sanctions” on Zimbabwe.

The IMF, World Bank and other multilateral lending agencies stopped giving loans to Zimbabwe’s government for the very simple reason that previous ones were not paid back on time.

Zimbabwe has been in arrears of tens of millions of US dollars to the Bretton Woods institutions for some while now. Feel free to call up their press office and get precise figures. I have done so many times myself.

That’s why international agencies cut Zimbabwe’s ratings. Because – like any good lender – they no longer had confidence in the government’s ability to repay them.
Angola on the other hand, which has a similarly stormy relationship with the IMF etc, does pay its bills on time, which is why plenty of countries lend to it.

Zimbabwe’s lack of loans is down to government incompetence – which is why even its ‘Look East’ partners (China, Malaysia etc) won’t give it any serious money.

Your assertion that Zimbabwe “cannot get…international investment” is plain stupid.

Go tell that to Anglo-American, Rio Tinto, Barclays bank, Old Mutual and a host of other international companies who have invested millions of US dollars in Zimbabwe since 2000 and continue to sustain their operations there at the moment.

ZIDERA, to which you refer, was enacted in response to the gross human rights abuses Mugabe committed in the wake of his failed 1999/2000 referendum and subsequent land-reform programme.

If western countries had been consistent in their promotion of human rights they would have enacted it 15 years earlier – when Mugabe’s murderous 5th brigade was slaughtering tens of thousands of Ndebele political opponents.

Your argument doesn’t stand up to the slightest scrutiny and it is a pity you waste your words defending a monster like Mugabe.

Posted by chris thompson | Report as abusive

Chris Brown,

Stop trying to be too clever. What do you mean by Zimbabwe owes “tens of millions of dollars?” African is right, Zimbabwe’s expulsion had nothing to do with debt. They country owed precisely US$75 million and the IMF chose to expell it instraed of restructuring the loan as it does will every other country.

As we speak, most African countries owe up to US$1 BILLION to the IMF but they are allowed to restructure their debts and never expelled.

Even if you are right about the IMF, what is your excuse for the USA’s decision to block Zimbabwe’s access to the following:

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The International Development Association
The International Finance Corporation,
the Inter-American Development Bank,
the Asian Development Bank,
the Inter-American Investment Corporation,
the African Development Bank,
the African Development Fund,
the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency.

Regarding you “human rights” excuse, does Zimbabwe have a worse human rights record than

Equatorial Guinea (where there is absolute presidential rule), Egypt (where the opposition is banned and martial rule has been imposed for almost 30 years), Ethiopia (where the goernment rigged the elections, shot 100 people for protesting against the rigging, and jailed all opposition leaders), Central African Republic (another absolute monarchy), the warlords in Somalia, and other USA/British allies in the region?

Admit it, Britain and the USA are looking for an excuse for regime change. Cholera is the latest excuse. They do not care about ordinary black Zimbabweans, otherwise they would have lifted their shameful economic sanctions and target Mugabe alone.

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive

Dear Vincent,

Im impressed that you can cut and paste all the names of the international lending agencies straight from Wikipedia’s website given that:
a) you have trouble reading (my last name is given as ‘thompson’, not ‘brown’) and…
b) notwithstanding that some of institutions you cite, such as the the Asian Development Bank and the Inter-American Investment Corporation, have absolutely nothing to do with loans to Africa.

But lets excuse that for the minute and focus on your human rights “argument” which can be summed up as: because Mugabe is not the worst human rights violator on the African continent ipso facto it is unfair to target him as opposed to Obiang in Equatorial Guinea etc.

Interesting that you do not dispute the evidence of decades of sustained human rights abuses by Mugabe. Be that as it may, I wish sanctions were also applied to Obiang et al – but since they’re not, Mugabe clearly deserves them; indeed they should have been applied some years ago starting with his genocide against Ndebeles in the 1980s.

Perhaps your mother never recounted the old aphorism that “two wrongs dont make a right, they make…” – but I’ll let you and ‘African’ finish that one off.

As for the “economic sanctions” – please stop lying. See my earlier post for examples of UK/US multinationals still doing business and investing in Zimbabwe post 2000. Or just go visit Harare’s central business district.

Posted by chris thompson | Report as abusive

Dear Chris,

You should be pleased that I mistakenly called you Chris Brown because Chris Brown is a pop superstar…

Seriously now, why do you think the US Congress instructed US officials to block the Asian Development Bank from making loans or doing transactions with Zimbabwe if the bank has nothing to do with African, as you claim. You obviously know better than the people that drafted the law…

Re-investment in downtown Harare, how come millions of Zimbabweans are fleeing economic hardship and starvation in Zimbabwe if these multinationals are pouring investment into the country as you claim? It is one thing to invest money in the development of a few mines and the mining of minerals. It is another thing to actually invest in the economy as a whole. For your information, the only reason these companies are investing the minimum required in these mines is that the law requires hem to do so. Otherwise, the law allows the government to take the mines away from them…

Re-Mugabe, I don’t mind sanctions against Mugabe but why pinish 10 million Zimbabweans with economic sanctions just because you believe Mugabe has abused their human rights? Where is the logica in that? Why the collective punishment of black Zimbabweans for the alleged crimes of Mugabe?

Would Britain, America, and the Rhodesians not gain a little credibility if they were not sponsoring worse abusers of human rights in Africa while rushing to the UN Security Council every six months in a bid for regime change in Zimbabwe?

Leaders in the region ignore Brown and co specifically because they know that he does not care about human rights in Somalia where warlords carrying British passports and US-backed troops are slaughtering, raping, gouging (according to Human Rights Watch) 10,000 civilians in Somalia.

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive

It is true, I myself have seen with my last remaining eye (the other was taken out by war-hero Hitler Hunzai so I could get my war veteran pension), the white Rhodesians plotting to throw over our beloved Zimbabwe.

They meet once a week in a secret place in south-London. The only black people allowed are the waiters, such is there racial tendencies. They hire them from the concentration camps set up by the gay British for those poor Zimbabweans still waiting for their legal farms.

On that one time when I spied on them the table was full with at least 4 Rhodesians, some were Selous Scouts as they wore Smith combat uniforms (very dirty and smelly) and had beards that reach the floor.

They flaunt their illegally procured wealth, stolen from the sweat of Zimbabweans. One even lighted a self-rolled cigarette with a Zimbabwean half a billion note. Another, who called himself ‘The Big Boss’ even ordered a hamburger and chips, which he ate with relish. Whilst our brothers and sisters starve, this evil man thought of nothing to fill his belly from the sweat of our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe.

The invasion is almost ready. They plan to arm all remaining Rhodesians, none under 50, with empty beer bottles and throw them over the fence at Musina till the border is closed, blocking vital supplies from our best friend South Africa.

My God, how long is the international community going to sit on their hands and let this madman take the whole country down the toilet with him?? I have this great fear that as these crisies get more and more dire, the world communnity is finding it easier and easier to turn their backs on these defencless, starving,sick and desparate people

Posted by The Rounder | Report as abusive

The problem with our continent is that we are cowards. We overtalk and never deliver. We know the right thing to do and we never do it. All we do is complain complain and never strategize strategize and implement implement. Majority of Africa is complaining about Zimbabwe and nothing has been done yet about this guy. Western hands cannot help us anymore. For us to grow, we need to handle things ourselves. Let us grow up and do it now.

Posted by Believer in the story of Africa | Report as abusive

who cares about the politics! speak to an average zimbabwean who has to cross illegally into another country to feed their families! white farmers, land siezures, abductions, food shortages, cholera, mob like military control, restrictions on foreign press. it will get worse! it is getting worse. neighbouring countries prepare for an attack on their borders by a mad mugabe who see’s his neighbours harbouring the oppostion and training militia! the man is a lunatic! argue all u want about how it was started and about race and the colour of your own skin! since when does the colour of your skin determine your nationality? white farmers who held citizenship for generations having their land stolen from them! because they were white??? zim floated on britains back becoming a strong african country! the regime changes and power is handed back and what happens??? someone please tell me? do you see those farms producing anything because i sure don’t! but it is beside the point! there is nothing to be done about zim, aid doesn’t reach the joe plod on the street,illegal immigrants are rounded up everyday in other countries and are dumped in camps on the other side of the border! talking politics is like a rocking chair fun to do when your bored but not going to get you anywhere! all african leaders need to take their heads out of the sand and take a stand against mugabe! it affects the whole sothern african region! south africa says mugabe is a fellow african brother and must be supported! supported while he destroys his country and kills his own people???? the rest pretend like there is nothing happening just over their border!!! king bob is over 80 years old, he is now the only thing standing between his generals and army facing charges of war crimes. he has gone from being another african dictator to a puppet diguising something much worse to come. give it time and it won’t be mugabe you are arguing about but his generals and uncontrollable militant force who will finally destroy zimbabwe. i am a true african and fear for the lives of those stupid enough to remain in Zim! i fear for my own country which borders zim, how long will it take before their crisis spills into my own back garden?

Posted by naledi | Report as abusive