Should Mandela speak out over Zimbabwe?

April 16, 2008

mandela.jpgHuman rights activist Peter Tatchell is criticising Nelson Mandela for not speaking out against Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe.

Here’s what Tatchell, who has twice tried to make a citizen’s arrest on Mugabe, says on his Web site. Do you agree with him?

“Nelson Mandela should publicly urge Robert Mugabe to stand down. He has a duty to support the Zimbabwean people’s democratic will, and denounce the election fraud of the ZANU-PF dictatorship.”

“Nelson is the hero of the anti-apartheid movement, but his silence on Zimbabwe’s unfree and unfair elections is collusion with tyranny. He is betraying his fellow Africans in Zimbabwe.”

“Britain should be pressing African Union leaders, including South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki and other top ANC officials, to call on Mugabe to retire. They should offer him a face-saving exit strategy. The Zimbabwean crisis needs an African solution.

“People around the world, including Zimbabweans, supported Nelson Mandela’s freedom struggle against apartheid. It is now time that Mandela reciprocated this solidarity by calling for the release of the election results and for Mugabe to concede that he lost the presidential poll.”

59 comments

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of course he should plenty of people stuck up for him when he needed them

Posted by jim | Report as abusive

Tatchell should focus on his own government (the British government), which is colluding with tyranny in Saudi Arabia, murdering people in its illegal war in Iraq, and creating 4 million Iraqi refugees, among other things.

How about Mr. Tatchell helping to bring Tony Blair to justice for the criminal war in Iraq (how about a citizen arrest of Blair)? How about a Tatchell campaign against Britain’s unelected prime minister?

Then, we can start to take Tatchell seriously. He should solve the problems in his own backyard before poking his nose into the affairs of Africa, China, etc.

Posted by Vincent | Report as abusive

Nelson Mandela fought for freedom. The right of freedom gives him the choice to comment on Mugabe or choose to let his successors comment. Mandela has the given best part of his life towards the struggle of the African nation and personally, i believe he deserves to spend his last years peacefully in retirement.
Its the current African leaders who are too quiet with regard to Mugabe. Africa is a continent that notoriously courts civil unrest and a number of her countries are ruled unfairly by power hungry rulers at the expense of their people.

Posted by jack | Report as abusive

As Mugabe supported the ANC during their struggle, the ANC is now supporting Mugabe and repaying their debt to him.

He is also a Liberation Hero to many in Africa and is viewed as standing up to the west or past colonial powers.

African politics and culture are very different to the western way of doing things.

The ANC is slowly taking South Africa down the same road that Mugabe took Zimbabwe. A one party state and all that goes with that.

Posted by schultz | Report as abusive

Mandela has criticized Mugabe before and was told to shut up by Mbeki.

Mandela is very old now, makes few public appearances and I don’t think its fair to criticize him now.

let Mandela rest in peace. I think he has played more than a fare share of his part in politics and he must rest now.

Posted by King | Report as abusive

Of course Mandela is out of mainstream politics. And as a result no longer has power or authority to influence issues out of moral influence. having long retired he can only express his personal opinion at best. And it is true, he has been cautioned against speaking on this issue as the current government may perceive it as speaking on behalf of the leadership of the ANC at large which is not the case.

Posted by Archie | Report as abusive

Absolutely. Mandela’s silence indicates his deep politics. He was a martyr of apartheid but hardly a saint. Sanctifying him is foolish if he supports tyrants like Mugabe. Desmond Tutu has shown him the way.

Posted by Paul | Report as abusive

I need to see a more balanced debate on the issues in Zimbabwe. A representative from Mugabe government needs to present him/herself and explain to the world the thinking of their government.
I am disappointed that a lot of the negative comments did not surface whilst Ian Smith was in government down there. Why are they so vocal now?

Posted by Karl Calder | Report as abusive

May I remind everyone that Nelson Mandela has fought enough battles and championed the cause of liberty and social justice for most of his adult life. He is retired and should be allowed to live his remaining days without having to comment on the world’s pressing issues.
For Tatchell to criticise Mandela is sad. Rather criticise the leaders of Southern Africa, most notably Thabo Mbeki.

Posted by Justin | Report as abusive

Cannot believe these people who say let Mandela rest in peace (like he’s already dead) . With his influence domestically within the ANC and regionally (SADCC) he should be critising Mugabe as strongly as possible. Mugabe hates him & won’t necessarily care but it will put pressure on Mbeki, the ANC & the rest of SADCC do to more than they are currently doing. When Mandela speaks the world listens and that is why he must speak out.

I’m afraid Schultz is spot on – its like the old boys club down there (Mugabe was the same with Machel when he was running Mozambique into the ground) SA will end up just the same. Bring back the whites to govern – even when we made the Africans live in their own country as 2nd/3rd class citizens with no vote at least they weren’t starving to death like they are now in Zim & will be one day in SA.

Posted by Richard | Report as abusive

Those who believe that this saga is about is all about Mugabe and his perceived hunger for power are gravely mistaken. The genesis of Zimbabwe\’s problems can easily be located in the greed that drives a lot of people, mostly whites, to believe that they are the only ones ordained to enjoy the resources of this earth, while other races have to be satisfied with the crumps falling down from their feasting tables. If the whites had not arrogated to themselves the larger part of fertile land in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa, there would never have so many wars of liberation, and therefore no Mugabes. Robert Gabriel Mugabe is a product of the prevailing unjust economic and social order his country and others find themselves in. He was bred by this system, and unless this system is corrected, his views – perhaps maybe not his actions – will always strike a chord in the hearts of those who are at the receiving end of this injustice. Mugabe, like everybody else, will die, but what he stands for will never die. Please let it be known that some us are ready to continue to wage the struggle he has sacrificed so much for. He will remain a hero for ever in our eyes, no matter what happens to him personally.

Posted by Luckson Botsang | Report as abusive

Those who believe that this saga is all about Mugabe and his perceived hunger for power are gravely mistaken. The genesis of Zimbabwe\’s problems can easily be located in the greed that drives a lot of people, mostly whites, to believe that they are the only ones ordained to enjoy the resources of this earth, while other races have to be satisfied with the crumps falling down from their feasting tables. If the whites had not arrogated to themselves the larger part of fertile land in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in Africa, there would never have so many wars of liberation, and therefore no Mugabes. Robert Gabriel Mugabe is a product of the prevailing unjust economic and social order his country and others find themselves in. He was bred by this system, and unless this system is corrected, his views – perhaps maybe not his actions – will always strike a chord in the hearts of those who are at the receiving end of this injustice. Mugabe, like everybody else, will die, but what he stands for will never die. Please let it be known that some us are ready to continue to wage the struggle he has sacrificed so much for. He will remain a hero for ever in our eyes, no matter what happens to him personally.

Posted by Luckson Botsang | Report as abusive

Black on black aparthied is no different to what the white’s inflicted on the black population for many years, to a world chorus of condemnation.
Speak up now, dear black leaders, or lose what little respect there is left.

Posted by Spike | Report as abusive

Absolutely right. African leaders and politicians ought to shoulder the responsibility of castigating leaders such as Mugabe and work for his/their removal. Mugabe is an example of man’s inhumanity to man, and African leaders who don’t work for his removal are aiding and abetting that inhumanity.

Posted by sue | Report as abusive

Oh, yes, I agree, a number of the current Regional leaders are younger than Mugabe, thus, they always give excuses that they cannot critisise an elder in their culture. Rolihlahla is older than Mugabe so has jurisdiction. Come on Madiba, tell him, he must not go the Sadam way, but the Mugabe way, with decence. The people of Zimbabwe are prepared to forgive him even if he doesnt want to ask for forgiveness for his evils.Why cant you tell him Madiba to think about his remaining children. How painfull for an oldman like him to die through stoning. We have no Sharia Law in Zimbabwe but we can borrow that from our friends.

Posted by Patterson ka Matshingili | Report as abusive

Do you know Mandela very well?You better ask Mr Clinton.He was told to jump into a swimming pool.He is a true African Revolutionalist.He is well aware of the situation.He wants Mugabe to stand down like all the africans want.He is well aware of the West’s interest in Zimbabwe.He cant say anything at the moment because the candidate available to replace Mugabe seems to be a puppet of the west.If there was someone who is genuine.Madiba will let the world know

Posted by Jerry Khumalo | Report as abusive

OK – if not Mandela, then whom? Who is bold enough to speak against a man who has clearly taken his convictions too far? Who has the courage to be a leader and expose Mugabe? To stand up for the rights of the poor and oppressed in Zimbabwe? No one has. No African leader is willing to sacrafice themselves for the people of Zimbabwe. Is everyone content to let the situation continue to get worse? When will enough be enough? When blood is shed on the streets? That is what’s next.

How about we call on the one who was Mandela’s right-hand man? How about the Archbishop Desmond Tutu? He is not quietly relaxing in retirement. He is still actively speaking out for human rights. He has admitted the “quiet diplomacy” of SADC has not worked. Tutu, however, seems to be all talk, which is disappointing. Instead of taking the lead, he has urged the West to pressure SADC. Even though many people from the West are concerned about the issue of Zimbabwe, it is not up to the West to bring pressure. This is an African problem that can only be solved by the Africans. It’s time to stop blaming the whites and take responsibility for running your countries with nobility.

Posted by Sarah W | Report as abusive

It is always difficult for ex-leader like Mandela to comment on anything for fear he would be undermining the current leader. One does not want to be a backseat driver. It is even more difficult to do so if one has to criticise the present office holder- I do not see Mandela endorsing Mbeki’s “quite diplomacy”!

Still one would expect Mandela to have called Mbeki and expressed his views. And after years of being ignored, then one would expect Mandela come out and express his views. The tragic events in Zimbabwe will have massive negative effect on the whole Southern African region and in Zimbabwe human lives are on the line.

Mandela is rightly respected as a man of vision- the world needs such man; particularly at such times as now!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Not to be offensive or rude but I’ve never heard a bigger load of garbage in my life,

Nelson Mandela is a hero he gave years of his life for his country and for the world as a whole, To expect him to get involved in yet another political situation after he has retired from public life and to say he is in collusion with tyranny is downright disrespectful of a great man, Try think for a moment before criticizing a man who has frankly given more than enough of his life to help this world.

Yes people around the world supported Mandela but remember that this was a long time ago and surely by now everyone has realized the west meddling in Africa has Never caused anything but bloodshed.

I do agree something must be done in Zimbabwe being a former citizen of that country myself HOWEVER we cannot expect Nelson Mandela to fix every single problem that Africa faces.

Lastly in regards to Britain and America pressing African leaders they have been doing so for years contrary to popular belief the removal of farmers while barbarous and harmful to the country is not the only reason Zimbabwe has descended to the point it has now the sanctions imposed by the west and African leaders they have pressured into imposing the same sanctions are also largely responsible.

To be clear I am not Pro Zanu-PF I am not Pro MDC, I am pro ZIMBABWE, A Zimbabwe run by Zimbabweans who care for and love their country and all its inhabitants IRRESPECTIVE OF RACE, I don’t support Zanu-PF because of The genocide against the Ndebele that occurred in the 80′s i also do not support the MDC because they are merely puppets for the west.

So instead of us all sitting around criticizing Nelson Mandela, Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai or any other African leader how about we start petitioning the west to drop these sanctions that are strangling Zimbabwe and to see what we can do about getting the farmers who are still there and at risk asylum somewhere else, while were at it leaving Zimbabweans to sort Zimbabwean issues.

On a final note i do agree that it is time for President Mugabe to step down, however while he and his party are guilty of many things let us not forget from 1980-2000 Zimbabwe was a prosperous country under his leadership, While the west has demonized him let us not all forget what he once stood for and what him and his party achieved in the form of positives for Zimbabwe.

Posted by Arren Samuel | Report as abusive

Luckson Botsang

Yes Mugabe’s greed can be traced back to white colonial rule. As a black person I and millions of other fellow black Zimbabweans including Mugabe suffered because of the white men’s greed and oppression. Blacks did not like the suffering then and we do not like it now. What people like you do not seem to understand is whatever Mugabe is doing now he is punishing the white farmers, yes; but worse still he is making the blacks suffer even more.

Why should millions of blacks have no food, no work, be denying all the basic rights such as the right to elect a government of their choice just because so dictator says that would allow white farmers back into the country! If you were a Zimbabwean and had to face the daily hardship of getting a loaf of bread, of weeks on end without running water, etc. you would not be so keen to support Mugabe. Try to imagine the hardships I am talking, if you can!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Madiba is turning 90years this year. Let the old man rest, please. Can Zimbabweans start fighting for their country? We fought for South African liberations and its amazing that they stood up against Ian Smith Government, but so quite when their country is being ran down by one indiviual? Why are they not fighting for their country instead of fleeing?

Posted by Kagiso | Report as abusive

Arren Samuel

You must be talking of a different Zimbabwe from the one that I know; Zimbabwe was NOT prosperous in 1980 to 2000. Why do you think the country adopted the first Economic Structural Adjustment Programme in 1990 and the second programme in 1995 if it was doing well? Zimbabwe’s economic problems can be traced back to spend, spend economic attitude by Mugabe and his government.

What exactly did MUGABE stand for, we should not forget? It certainly is not freedom, liberty, human rights etc., etc. because those are the very things he has denied the people of Zimbabwe all these years! Mugabe never really believed in any these things, he was clever enough to use this platform to pursue his really agenda – to seek absolute power and allowed nothing to stand in his way not even the sanctity of human life!

When Joseph Stalin- an equally ruthless dictator – died, millions of Russian and many people outside Russia went into deep morning. No doubt when Mugabe dies many millions outside Zimbabwe will morning his passing but I know millions Zimbabweans will celebrate!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Firstly, I think Madiba could help with a few words, but I do believe he has done his share. It should be left for him to decide. And we all know Mbeki is called the lame duck president.

Secondly, I hate Mugabe like the rest of the world, for what he has done to his people, but I understand his point on the UK and the US. I’m a white South African, born and bred here, and 4 generations back my mothers side came from France and fathers from Britain.

Europe in general have always been land invaders thru the centuries. This has not changed. They got rich by taking resources that was never theirs and selling land that did not belong to them in the first place. Nogal to their own people. Imagine the profit from nothing paid. No wonder it is called the mighty pound.

They can’t do it outright anymore, but trust me, they are going to do it by investments and loans. They are all going to come rushing in when Mugabes gone. They are going to lend $1 for Z$1.000.000+… would they be so keen to invest in 10 years time when Zim is back on to say maybe Z$10 to the dollar or pound.

Wake up people!!! The world needs our resources. We have to watch out for China and India as well now. We’re giving it away too cheaply. If that cheaply… sell it amongst ourselves. This is our strength – keep it. Forget the aid and lets rebuild Africa together. It will take longer, but we will be better off. Its the same as saving for something instead of paying all that interest back.

We need to get rid of leaders in Africa to the likes of Mugabes brutality, but don’t allow the rest of the world just take over. Mugabes right in a way, but an idiot the way he handled it.

Sorry its so long… but oh so true.

Posted by Tony | Report as abusive

Whilst in Mandela’s time of release it was all about race, I disagree with those who’ve turned this into a racial argument. Where the situtations overlap is that this is about a relatively small oppressive group depriving the majority of a country of their rights. I think if Nelson was to speak about it the world would certainly listen. How could the propaganda-driven Mugabe henchmen ignore the words second African Nobel Peace Price winner. That they are both black people who were oppressed by white people in the past lends more credibility.

As for Thabo Mbeki… I could not respect a man less

Posted by Matt | Report as abusive

Wilbert Mukori

Selective amnesia will take us nowhere – denying that Mugabe was a hero until he crossed the forbidden line (confiscating “white men’s” land,) is pretty disingenous and palpably false. The only reason why those of you who are so virulently opposed to Mugabe’s rule are failing so dismally to take him out is that he still commands a sizeable following within the Zimbabwean populace. Having been exposed to endless helpings of anti-Mugabe propaganda by the controllers of worldwide media, you now believe that he is the sole reason why Zimbabwe is in the state it is in. That defies all logic – we all know that the man is a genious, but still to attribute to him the power to control so much is really stretching it way too far. The root cause of many of the problems in Zimbabwe and elsewhere in this forsaken continent is white greed and prejudice. Until and unless you address this malaise, more and more Mugabes will rise up and take up the mettle for ensuring true African independence, not the tokenism we find in so many of the African states lauded by the West as shining examples of African democracy. Look at South Africa now, the majority of blacks live in shacks, while by and large, it is the whites who still enjoy the economic wealth of the country. I do not think thats what Steve Biko and many others died for.
The West is manipulating your thinking through its all pervasive media. Africans must liberate themselves from mental slavery before they can have true economic independence.

Posted by Luckson Botsang | Report as abusive

To you Luckson, I say just go into Harare today and stay there for a week and come back sober-minded. Your posts have made very angry as a suffering 27-yr-old Zimbabwean woman living in Harare.
Why do u talk of tings that u don’t know?! Just shut up.
Have you ever had your baby die just because there is medicine in the hospitals? Do you think we can afford private hospitals when as a civil servant i get paid equivalent R250 per month??!
How am I supposed to care for all the nieces and nephews that have been orphaned by AIDS? What about my aging parents?
So you want me to still thank Mugabe after all this hardship?
Only the corrupt Zim elite and crooks celebrate with you.
I don’t give a damn about politics, i just want to live like a decent human being. That’s what all Zimbabweans want and that’s why they voted for the alternative – in anticipation of a better future.
Luckson don’t talk nonsense man, and I challenge you to go into Harare right now and see people like me – disilluioned and miserable – and if you have a heart – you will weep with me.

Posted by Trust | Report as abusive

Luckson Botsang

You should go and look in the mirror and then you will see the person who does not know what he are talking about and is guilty of falsehood!

Mugabe was NOT a hero until he “crossed the forbidden line (confiscating white men’s land)”. Ever since he assumed office in 1980 Mugabe has never ever held free and fair elections. And this repeated failure is at the very heart of the present crises.

As I said before Mugabe wanted absolute power and stopped at nothing to get it; not even the sanctity of human life. In the mid 1980s – which would be before he crossed your stupid line – his regime murdered 3 000 to 30 000 innocent people. You should go and tell the wives, the sons and daughters and all the relatives of his victims of Mugabe’s heroic deeds!

I have followed the story of Steve Biko, now there was a true African Hero. He wanted blacks to be accorded all the rights, freedoms and human dignity the whites took for granted. He did not want the blacks treated as the white were treating them – as if they were the scam of the earth. Mugabe has for the last 28 years systematically denied all the basic human rights. What he is doing now is contemptuously disregarding the expressed will of the electorate – he is treating the electorate as if they are the scam of the earth who should not have been given the right to vote! He is now instigated an orgy of intimidation and murder – so not only did the people not deserve the vote they did not deserve the right to live! And you think Steve Biko would have approved?

If Mugabe has indeed this “sizeable following” why did he not hold free and fair elections? Why is he holding back declaring his sizeable win?

For Zimbabwe, and indeed the whole continent of Africa, to start the recover from the political and economic mess it finds itself now first it must recognise and value its own people and accorded them all basic freedom and human dignity. No African must be treated as if they were the scam of the earth ever again. But it seem that is going to be really hard to achieve when there are gullible people like you, Luckson Botsang, who see a ruthless dictator like Mugabe as a hero. Who, again and again fall for his smokes and mirrors trick of fighting off imaginary white men threatening the country’s independence and sovereignty to hide his brutal repression of innocent blacks!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

If indeed the problems that are bedevilling Zimbabwe are of Mugabe’s making (and I will never deny that they numeorus and heart-wrenching)why have you guys who have the motivation to take him out, one way or the other, failed to do so? I am afraid I doesn’t say much about you.

You need to get your act together because it boggles the mind that despite all the problems you so graphically describe, you are still failing to dislodge Mugabe. For a nation that is known for militant activism, one wonders why the motivation for regime change has not reached the right levels yet? Why when the opposition calls for mass action the call is largely ignored? Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come. Not even Mugabe, who you seem to give powers that border on the supernatural, would stop a people yearning for change.

Makes you think…

Posted by Luckson Botsang | Report as abusive

For the avoidance of doubt, I would NEVER criticise a man of Mr Mandela’s stature – it would be akin to sacrilege.
Notwithstanding, If Mr M were to speak against Mugabe it would be game up.
However, I addressed my comments to “black leaders”, and Mr M is not in that category.

Posted by Spike | Report as abusive

Nelson Mendela has done a great deal for his country, and at his age, should be left in peace. Thabo Mbeki,is a very weak leader, and I am sure that he has been a great disappointment to Nelson.

It is rather sad, though not at all surprising, that when it comes to choosing between the typical African “lucrative jobs for the boys” approach to government that has kept the whole continent of Africa back for more than a generation, and the real interests of African people, Mandela has shown himself to have feet of clay. Any chance that we could rethink that statue in Parliament Square? I doubt it. As I say, “jobs for the boys”.

Posted by Matthew | Report as abusive

Yes, Nelson Mandela needs to speak out about Zimbabwe and the brutality of Mugabe’s dictatorship.

The outside pressure helped end apartheid in South Africa. Zimbabwe’s people need all the outside pressure they can get to end their suffering, especially from the few remaining voices of reason on the continent, such as Nelson Mandela.

SAVO HELETA
Author of “Not My Turn to Die:
Memoirs of a Broken Childhood in Bosnia”
http://savoheleta.livejournal.com

Luckson Botsang

Well I take my hat off to you- you are the classic example of someone who talks with their foot in their own mouth! In your 16 April contribution you started “Not to be offensive or rude, but I’ve never heard a bigger load of garbage”. Only to dislodge the biggest load of garbage yourself!

The following day you were back with “Selective amnesia will take us nowhere.” Big words, I had to look that up amnesia myself. Amnesia: loss of memory, memory loss, forgetfulness, a total blank. After reading the rest of the article I can to the conclusion that you had out done yourself once again- it was you who was suffering from selective amnesia!

But not content with being the one dislodging the biggest garbage and one suffering from a total memory blank you came back the same day to claim yet another trophy.

“If indeed the problems that are bedevilling Zimbabwe are of Mugabe’s making (and I will never deny that they (sic – are) numeorus (sic –numerous) and heart-wrenching) why have you guys who have the motivation to take him out, one way or the other, failed to do so? I am afraid I (sic – it) doesn’t say much about you.”

And you finished with a flourish “Makes you think …” and no doubt a smug coup de grace grin on your face!

I will be the first to admit that I am very disappointed that Mugabe’s rule has lasted this long. The nation has paid dearly for. If by “taking him out” you mean kill him; I do not believe that would have solved anything. Out of that violent solution could easily have emerged yet another equally ruthless and brutal dictator. Indeed it was the bitter war of independence that catapulted Mugabe to power.

It was hard for the civilians to demand that there should have their full democratic and human rights looking up the business end of an AK Rifle. The 1980 election were about ending the war, period. That gave Mugabe five years before he had to face the electorate again- enough time to under mine the country’s multi-party constitution, fill the Police, Judiciary, etc. with party loyalist, etc. and thus create a de facto one-party state. The rest, as they say, is history.

It has taken us a long time to rid ourselves of Mugabe. He is like Saddam in a fox. The hole is getting very smelly and hot and it is now full of biting bugs- he will have to get out!

By the way, Zimbabweans are not the only people in history who have had the misfortune of being ruled by a dictator. Most nations have had such misfortune of being ruled by a dictator or the next worse thing an idiot at one time in the history. That is a historic fact – not that it making our suffering Zimbabwe any better. I am not so sure which country you are from- but if it is SA then you must have forgotten already about the years of Apartheid – but will forgive you since we have already established you suffer from amnesia. None of the Sadc or African leaders have been particularly brilliant in their handling of their own national affairs let alone in handling Zimbabwe- which is of course why none of them had the nerve to call Mugabe book.

So where does that leave you Luckson “Makes you think” Bustang! Well if you ask me, you have proven once again that you are not what you say you are – you are totally incapable of thinking!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

I agree 100%. The silence on the part of African leaders, especially Mandela, is akin to collusion. Mbeki has essentially tried to play down the dire situation which the people of Zimbabwe are facing on a daily basis. It’s time for Mugabe to go! And even though I also agree that the situation in Zimbabwe needs an African solution, it might be time for the international community to act quickly and responsibly (even if this mean military action) to protect the Zimbabwean people from further State tyranny. Zimbabwe is a failed State. Mugabe passed a long time ago from hero to zero.

Mandela has advised this tyranny several times to consider retirement but Mugabe is a stubborn old man with no shame.Quoting from the late predecessor’s book the Great Betrayal,who compared this monster called Robert Mugabe to Nelson Mandela.The difference of the two was Mandela was a statesman and Mugabe was full of politics in his stomach.He has ruled that country with an iron fist right from the beginning.There has never been fredom of expression in Zimbabwe that he so claims to have liberated from colonialism.Mugabe has destroyed a once vibrant economy in Africa through corruption and mismanagenament.The state security forces have been institutionalized and are loyal to Zanu-PF.Mugabe thinks he is running that country as a personal business and should be stopped just like all other dictators.I salute that South African Anglican Bishop who managed to stop the Chinese ship full of weapons destined to Zimbabwe.
Thabo Mbeki is not a reliable source of mediation,and also was a wrong choice to succeed Mandela.Even if Mandela speaks about the Zimbabwean crisis that brutal tyrant will not listen. Mugabe needs more than talks to convince him to step down.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Wibert Mukori

I choose to ignore the personal attacks on me because, once again, they will never solve the problems bedevilling Zimbabwe. However, do not attribute abusive quotes to me – the use of derogatory words is not part of my arsenal. I never used the words ‘load of garbage’ and I will never think anyone is incapable of thinking, yourself included.

The relevant issue that needs to be addressed is why it is taking Zimbabweans so long to push Mugabe out of power. Unfortunately I do not buy this story about the power he wields. No man will ever be more powerful than the collective – to my mind, not enough Zimbabweans have reached the requisite level of motivation to take him on. Please prove me wrong. Are Zimbabwe’s problems entirely of Mugabe’s making? I do not believe so, and evidently, many Zimbabweans share the same sentiments, hence their lack of motivation to take him out.

Posted by Luckson Botsang | Report as abusive

Why should Mr Mandela be warranted with such a heavy burden? Mandela could speak out however with Mugabe’s state of mind he is likely to reply with something like ‘Mandela has been influenced by white man. He is now ‘white on the inside’ or some such racist rubbish. When the ‘white West’ speaks against a ‘black’ dictator it’s labeled racist. When a ‘black’ politician speaks against a black dictator, automatically that ‘black’ politician is a puppet for the white man. Will the next ‘black’ man who speaks against this dictator also be labeled as a puppet for the West or ‘black on the outside, white on the inside?” Mugabe’s comments and actions show he is just as, if not more racist than the ‘white’ government he overthrew. It is ironic how ‘anti-West he is and yet he continues with his ‘western lifestyle’ down his dictatorship and regard for his own people being very similar to past tyrants from the ‘West’. (A little bit of reading should enlighten the misinformed/uneducated). Luckson you wrote: “The West is manipulating your thinking through its all pervasive media. Africans must liberate themselves from mental slavery before they can have true economic independence.” So are you trying to say that since 1980 when Mugabe took power the Zimbabweans were still subjected to mental slavery by the “white man? Does this mean that Mugabe really has had no influence or rule over his people in the way they think, talk, act, or live these past 28 years? You also say: “…why it is taking Zimbabweans so long to push Mugabe out of power. ….. to my mind, not enough Zimbabweans have reached the requisite level of motivation to take him on.” Did you actually read, understand and FEEL what ‘Trust’ was saying in her blog? By your next comments, what she said obviously went through one ear and out the other. I’m sure the populace of Zimbabwe has not been reduced to young, fit, childless men & women who have the physical and mental strength to rise up against Mugabe without fear of their relatives getting murdered/ maimed/ raped etc by his Gestapo. He has had 28 years to instill fear and weaken the ‘heart’ of his nation so he can stay in power. This is so typical of an abuser who sets in place strategies to continue the power and subsequent abuse over the victim. At first they are bedazzled by the abusers ‘strength and words’ (like some politicians). It’s not until the victim becomes educated enough to realize what is going on and they have the strength and ability to either leave or kill the abuser or get outside help. Now if you’re surrounded by a group of scumbags equally intent on having this power over you (like a religious sect ) and would not think twice in killing your mother, baby, grandmother etc, it makes it just a bit more difficult for the victim to rise up. To make such a comment maybe you haven’t been subjected to the ‘requisite level’ of abuse perpetrated on you. European countries invaded by Hitler and terrorized by his Gestapo did not openly rise up against the Tyrant. He ensured his Gestapo instilled enough fear to support is Tyranny, until the evil White West came and stopped him. But illogically Hitler was a hero and still is today. A tyrant is a tyrant. You judge people by their behaviour and actions, not by the colour of their skin or that fact they eat noodles. Judging by Mugabe’s actions against his people – anyone in their right mind can see what has to be done with him.

Posted by Conscientious Observer | Report as abusive

Luckson Botsang

You are right, you did not use “load of garbage”, it was someone else, my apology. You did use “selective amnesia”, etc.; if that is not a derogatory language and a personal attack on me, then I do not know what is.

Yes it has taken a long time for Zimbabweans to rid themselves of Mugabe. The main reason is, as I have said before, because that Mugabe is a ruthless and brutal dictator. Yes of course, he has not acted alone; there are hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans who have knowingly assisted Mugabe – for thirty pieces of silver. They have become miniature dictators in their own right.

Then there are many Zimbabweans who too have played, unwittingly, a part in making Mugabe the monster he is today. The great majority of Zimbabweans were simply the silent victims. Stopping the juggernaut such as Mugabe has not an ease task and, unfortunately, has taken a long time. Even one day under a ruthless dictator is one day too long!

So Zimbabweans have turned to Sadc, AU, UN and the international community for help. Frankly the help we have received especially from Sadc and AU leaders has been very disappointing, but we have taken it all on the chin. We are grateful for the support and sympathy we have received from many private individuals. But, to go back to the origins of our exchange; there is the odd ball like you.

It is one thing talking to Zimbabweans in such a condescending way as though you come from a nation that has never ever had anything other than perfect leaders. But when you disregard the truth, puddle Mugabe propaganda and hold him as a hero then I draw the line! Sure, Mugabe would pay you the 30 pieces of silver in worthless Z$. From me and the millions of my fellow Zimbabweans who have suffered and continue to under Mugabe’s brutal regime, what do you expect? A knighthood!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

So after 6 days of recounting in the 23 constituencies all Zimbabwe Election Commission can give is the result of two constituencies. Here we go again! Of course the whole thing is being dragged out to give Mugabe’s thugs more time to intimidate, beat and murder.

Mugabe may have proven beyond doubt that he is totally incompetent when it comes to running the nation’s economy but he would like to remind us all that he holds the key to whether or not the nation descend into lawlessness and anarchy! ZEC, at him signal, will declare the Presidential results; no clear winner and therefore there will be a run-off.

He will tell his thugs to cool it and Tsvangirai will be put under great pressure to take part. He will find it difficult to find any MDC election monitors in the rural Polling Stations. MDC supporters have been driven away by Mugabe’s thugs. The choice before the electorate is simple enough- vote for Ysvangirai again and there will be lawlessness worse than what they have witnessed so far!

Of course, Mugabe is painfully aware that the country’s economic melt down will not go away. As a sop to the international community in return for the later’s help in getting the economy back on track again he will form a government of national unity. He will remain President and offer Tsvangirai one of the vice president posts. He may even offer to appoint Tsvangirai President at some unnamed future date.

When historians look back to what really happened in Zimbabwe following the 29 March 2008 elections they will conclude that Mugabe remained in power into total disregard of the expressed electoral will of the people. And his accomplice was none other than Tsvangirai himself- his dithering and incompetence gave Mugabe the confidence be belligerent!

Posted by Wilbert Mukori | Report as abusive

Nelson Mandela is a living hero of our time. He has spoken out against Mugabe in the past (Monday, May 8, 2000 Former South African President Nelson Mandela has slammed Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, labelling him a tyrant who has held on to power for too long).
I don’t think anyone should doubt his stance, what they should consider is his health & his age. He is now 89 years old, and has not led an easy life.

Posted by Andy | Report as abusive

Bob was a freedom fighter 28 years ago. He is no longer relevant. Mandela should have a little chat with him.

Posted by soupy | Report as abusive

Honurable Mandela is a person of high dignity. He will spaeak only if his words are respected. I do not think that Mugabe is in mood to listen any advice which will take power from him.

Posted by Ashok | Report as abusive

Peter Tatchell should just shut up, he is out of touch. Mandela is old and frail. He does not need to prove anything to anybody after his lifelong sacrifice for justice. Least of all to Tatchell.

Posted by Reg | Report as abusive

I understand that Nelson Mandela is now beyond politics, and is probably not a well man. However, his is the only voice which will, in today’s Africa, have any clout whatsoever against Mugabe’s despotism, brutality and absurd hanging onto power despite the obvious will of the Zimbabwean people for change. Please, Madiba, speak out and bring some logic into southern African politics. Your successor is obviously never going to do so!

Posted by Sue Shaw | Report as abusive

Why should Mandela have to get involved with everything that goes wrong, those who propped up Mugabe should be held responsible. The likes of Thatcher and the conservative party.

Posted by Gabriel tolefe | Report as abusive

If Mandela is the democratic hero he is claimed to be, he should denounce Mugabe for the tyrant he is. And if Mbeki and the ANC object, Mandela should denounce Mbeki and resign his membership of the ANC. If he stays silent, he is a total hypocrite.

MR Mugabe has been, demonised, reviled a well planned attempt at regime change in Zimbabawe by the British ,and Americans establishments. His main crime in their eyes that he tried to redress the wrongs of Colonialism. I say to the Zimbabwean people to remain calm , a do not fall into the trap being set by these Imperial despots , and resort to any violence , as they will use it as a excuse to intervene ,and install a puppet who will do their bidding. Britain and America have invested hugely in undermining the Indepenndece , that the people of Zimbabawe fought for and won a great human sacrifice. Their aim along with the poodles in the corporate media , is to spread lies , allegations, and disinformation etc , to create a illusion of utter chaos, they they will use this as a excuse to intervene. It is sad to see people in Zimbabawe openly supporting the Western backed and financed puppet Tswangira and his MDC Party. A party and it leader who have called for the very sanctions that have virtually brought Zimbabawe to it knees, and have cost hundred of thousands of jobs etc. It then uses the hardships caused by sanctions and which they called and lobbied for as proof of how MR Mugabe has brought the country to it knee’s Tswangira gains power , sooner rather than later, his Western handlers, and backers will call pay back time. That means a sell of of railways, water , hospitals etc to Multi national profiteers, in fact the country silver . The writing is already on the wall Zimbabawe is ripe for Neocolonialism, and the vultures are already waiting outside of your door. PlEASE WAKE UP. BERNARD Ireland.

Posted by bernard | Report as abusive

Bernard – wake up and smell the roses! Britain and America have no more interest in Zimbabwe than they have in any other small third world country, ie as a rather insignificant market for their goods and services.
The political conditions that led Britain to colonise Zimbabwe in the first place are no longer prevalent- they don’t need to steal anybody’s land or resources, as these can be bought on the open market.
If Zimbabwe had oil, that would be a different story……….. (and a different debate!)

The land debate in Zimbabwe is not about the colour of the people who own the land, but rather what those people do with the land.
Taking land from experienced commercial farmers and handing it to peasant subsistence farmers is a recipe for starvation, and this has been borne out by Zimbabwe’s recent history.
The difference between a country that starves and a country that eats comes down to whether or not that country has a properly organised agricultural industry. Medieaval farming methods just don’t cut it with modern population levels.
There has been a wholesale failure in Zimbabwe to encourage and promote black Zimbabweans into the farming industry, even though funds were made available for this purpose by Britain under the terms of the independance agreement. These funds were instead squandered by Mugabe.

Britain’s continueing interest in Zimbabwe is mainly because, as the ex-colonial power, they feel responsible for having handed the Zimbabwean people over to a nutcase like Uncle Bob.
When people call him a “Liberation Hero” and a “Freedom Fighter” it makes me laugh- he spent the whole war safely tucked away in Russia, whilst people on both sides fought and died!

Madiba’s feelings about the man are well known, and it’s no accident that he waited until the old man was on his way out before he started with all his nonsense.
But he won’t speak out publicly, because to do so would amount to open criticism of his successor’s response to the situation, and the old statesman would never do that, regardless of how inadequate he might feel that response to be.
Tutu, however, was never part of the ANC ruling class, and as such is a free agent, able to express his views openly.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

Steve-It is you that is a nut case comeing out with such utter trash. If America and British Imperialist have no interest in Plundering Zimbawabes resources after installing their stooge Tsvangira , then what is their interest. It hard to beleive that it anything remotely to do with Democarcy. After all it was British Imperialist who , covertly supplied the racist white regime of the outlaw and tyrant Ian Smith, with arms and supplies ,through that other once racist paradise of Apartheid S.Africa. Even thought they interduced sham sanctions , British , American , and to a lesser degree other European countries.covertly supported Sanction busting. This prolonged the day of liberation , and therefore , cost the lives of severall hundred thousand, more people, the vast majority black Zimbabweans. If British Imperialist , were interested in Democracy as then often claim they are , why just only last year ,did the British Goverment, host a official visit to England, of a leader of one of the most corrupt, and despotic , regimes in the world, The King of Saudi Aribia. Not only was this despot welcomed by the war criminal Blair , but he was driven to the Palace in a horse driven carriage along with The Queen , for a Royal Banquet in his Hounor. In Saudi Aribia, the very mention of politics, democracy, women right , freedom of speech,etc, etc,etc, by anyone is a virtual death sentence. And you try to convince people these b—ards give one dam about democracy. If they are only intersted in Democracy , why dont they impose sanctions aganist that despotic and evil regime, along with other bastions of Democracy like Egypt, Kuwait, Israel, the list is a long one. When the despot King came to England , there was not one voice raised , either by so called human right groups , media, so called liberal politicians, yet these same hypocrites , are constantly lieing and demonising Mr Mugabe and his Goverment, based on lies fed to them by the Imperialist Stooge Tsvangira ,and his MDC. Your other porky , that Mr Mugabe, sat out the Liberation Struggle in Russia is a henious lie, as it is well documented, that Mr Mugabe , spent many years in the outlaw Smith prison , were he studied, and obtained severall degrees. Whilst in prison his young baby son died , and the evil tyrant Smith refused him compassionate parole , even under a huge guard. Britain and America fear that if land reform is carried out to the full in Zimbabawe that , other indigenous people will demand the same right , not only in Africa but throughout the third world. You also make the ridiculous claim that money that was to aid land reform ,was squandered by the Zimbabwean goverment. Under Thatchers Goverment , Britian as agreed under the Lancasrer House Agreement, funded the first phase of returning the stolen land from the racist white settlers to the rightful owners . This was thoroughly scrutinised by severall bodies ,and no monies ever went astray. Blair came to Power, and he tore the agreement up, and refused to hounor it , hoping that it would prolong white controll of vast swathes of Zimbabwe’s best farmland. Hence today because Mr Mugabe returned the farms to their rightfull owners , Britian and America , are determined that regime change should take place , by fair or foul means. Zimbabweans people must get into their heads that Tsvangira is the stooge of Imperialism, and he at their bidding he will undo , at the first opportunity all the gains of the heroic Liberation Struggle. Zimbabweans I say once again , do not sell out your country to be plundered , on the promises of a stooge, as he can never deliver them.

Posted by bernard | Report as abusive

Sorry to point out the obvious, but whilst everyone is ranting about colour and imperialism, people in Zimbabwe are dying. If you look at the facts, life in Zimbabwe is beyond bad for everyone, the government has made some awful decisions and has to take its share of responsibility. The government needs to be replaced via democratic means otherwise all the lives lost (during apartheid, during Nazi-ism, during any imposed regime) fighting to have a say, to have a vote, are wasted.

I don’t think anyone would wants Zimbabwe to suffer – but by saying replacing Mugabe is bowing to white imperialists is such an outdated view. Does that mean every African government who f**ks up can stay in power? because to fall out of power would be bowing to ‘white imperialists’ Or does that mean that if the US and UK support any political party that these will automatically become ‘a puppet’ – because that kind of ridiculous thinking makes Mandela a puppet too???

It’s beyond me that racism is still so rife that someone will support an evil man who is killing thousands, just because of his colour…. and these are the same people who wanted to apartheid to end. Take colour out of the equation and see Mugabe for what he is; once a popular president, who has become a dictator with no respect for any life regardless of skin colour, who has run his country into the ground. In any other continent colour wouldn’t come into it – take your black and white spectacles off and just see the senile old git for what he is – a nasty piece of work whose time has come to an end.

And personally i think it would be great if Mandela spoke out, or Mbeki spoke out, or Zuma spoke out – but for SA condone violence because Mugabe is a black African …. well that’s just bloody stupid! Who are the puppets now???

Posted by Sophie | Report as abusive

He’s 90 you Tatchell you twerp. Give the man a break.

Posted by Stuart | Report as abusive

Bernard

Right wing governments in Britain and America supported the S African government in the 80′s because they would’ve supported any government (no matter how tyranical) so long as they were opposed to communism. As this is no longer a factor, that is no longer relevant.

They support the Saudi’s because of the oil- let’s get real here, it’s about self interest in these cases, not morals (politicians are snakes, we all know that!)

A lot of the guys who received farms under the Lancaster Agreement couldn’t make a go of farming and sold their farms on the open market.
In fact, the first white farmer to be murdered by Mugabe had bought his farm for the going rate off a black man- that’s a fact!!

You’ve totally ignored my point- the land is Zimbabwe’s main national industry. It doesn’t matter who has the best claim to owning it, if it’s not being used to produce food for the nation (and for export) then everyone in the country will suffer.

You can spout rhetoric all you like, but the fact remains that a country that used to be one of the biggest food exporters in Africa is now unable to feed itself.
That’s a fact!!

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

Susan – There you go spouting out utter trash and lies about thousands dying. That statement is a Total lie and you know it is . The imperialist financed, puppet Tswangiraa and his MDC,on a daily basis issue all sorts of lies and fairy tales regarding the situation,(which the poodle and gutless Western press , print as fact without even bothering to verify if it true or not.) but to date they have not made such a silly statement about thousands dying as they know Zimbabawe is a very modern country as African countries go and if such things were really happening they could be very easily investigated, to prove if they were true or not . To date the MDC claim that twenty people have died in the the run up to the elections. The goverment and severall genuine impartial groups have asked them for the details and circumstances of the alleged Twenty deaths, and their is no surprise that the MDC, will not furnish them or any Independent group with the details , the reason being that they are lying through their teeth. The Zimbabwean Goverment, official figures of death related to the recent elections ,stand presently a six person’s, they released their names and circumstances of their deaths.Those who have died belonged to both the MDC and ZANU-PF. Six death in any situation is not good , but hell you like to exaggerate, bloody thousands. You say the Goverment has made some bad decisions, yes they have, particularry in the eyes of British and American Imperialist. Their first mistake was to go ahead and return the land stolen a gun point , and the Indigenous people driven into what were nothing more than concentration camps. Their options were , work for the white (mainly) British racist or starve. It is well documented that the racist white settlers killed or stole upwards of one million cattle belonging to the indigenous people, mainly to stop what they claimed was over grazing, but the indigenous people believed it was to protect their own markets, and make the people reliant on their products. Another mistake the Zimbabwe Goverment made was to assist the Goverment of the Congo to repel , a American and British backed terror group based in Rwanda, which they were supporting , as a means to controll huge swathes of that mineral rich country. The American and British, interference , goes way beyond simply supported one political group or another in a country, If the Americans and British gave two s–ts about Zimbabawe , why they did they impose the sanctions that have brought Zimbabawe to it knees. Tswangira if he really cared about Zimbabawe , why did he request the sanctions that have caused so much devastation ,both to the economy and the Zimbabwean people.Tswangira him self is not effected by the sanctions which he called for , for a man who claims to be a poorly paid Union leader , he lives quite well. For instance how can a man on such a miserly salary , afford to send his children to one of the most prestigious public schools in Australia. His eldest son who appears to have no mean of income, is well known for his flash cars and has just moved into a new luxury home in Avondale. Tswangira himself also like to go on spending sprees to the prestigious Sandton Shopping Mall in Sandton Jo,Burg, and a recent visit there he was mugged at gun point and his cell phone stolen along with other personal effects. This for a simple Union worker, with a meagre salary, is certainly living it up, and you do not have to be a brain surgeon to work out were the cash to live this rich lifestyle comes from. Sanctions imposed on Iraq because Bush and Blair lied to their own people that Iraq had WMD, cost the lives of over Two Hundred And Fifty Thousand children under the age of five. Now these figures are fact and are documented both by the UN, and impartial human rights groups. Do you find it beyond you also that,people could support such people that would sacrifice so many innocent live for OIL. As you seem to be all for removing dictators and despots , do you support the removal of the King of Saudi Arabia, the unelected leaders of Oil rich Kuwait. What about the daily slaughter in Palestine, by Israel. On a recent visit to a fair trade in Zimbabawe , I stayed in hotel on the north of Harare, which is a well known drinking den for the white Farmer’s, they openly support Tswangira,and many write monthly cheques to finance the MDC, why did they do this I asked severall of them,and they boast because he is our man and we are going to get the farms back that have been returned under Land Reform.This is no secret and Tswangira, plans to grab the farms back and give them to the white racist again. In fact many white farmers who farms were given back to the Indigenous people, from whom they were stolen ,were so sure of a MDC election victory, that they have returned from abroad were they had settled this past numbers of years. Zuma speak out Mandela speak out, for god sake these people are not puppets of the West, they know what the Imperialist are up to , just like the majority of Africa does. I say once again to the people of Zimbabawe ,ignore these hypocrites pretending they give two dam about your country,when they turn a blind eye to real death and destruction in places like Iraq, Palestine , Saudi Aribia etc, and then pretend they care about Zimbabawe. Tswangira has been allowed to cause so much suffering along with his Imperialist paymasters. Do not let this Imperialist lying monster into power or you will soon know what a corrupt despot really can do to your freedoms and natural resources. It crunch time , many now throughout the world , thanks to the Internet,what a bad piece of work Tswangira really is. Bernard IRELAND.

Posted by bernard | Report as abusive

Steve -Right wing and left wing governments, supported S.Africa, since the first racist Goverment was installed in S.Africa, decades before Communism was a issue. for god sake man Britian fought the Boer war to try and controll the huge wealth there , in diamonds, gold and other mineral’s had bugger all to do with Communism least your truthful and accept, the point and that it all about self interest, and just like in Saudi Aribia, it the oil,amd in Zimbabawe its to put the brakes on land reform ,and to stop the growing influence of China as regards Zimbabawe’s huge mineral reserves.

Posted by bernard | Report as abusive

I believe that Peter Tachell has got it all wrong to think that African and international countries were helping the honourable Nelson Mandela in gaining liberation. Mr. Mandela and his comrades never fought for his freedom but for the South African freedom and that leads us to succession leadership. His successor (with the collective leadership) has done a lot for the country and the African countries. Please don’t get it wrong it is no over yet untill we are all liberated. We have the ANC led government and we also have a strong and fresh ANC leadership to take care of political and social issues. No one has objected to Mr. Mandela’s call for retirement because he is no power hungry and he gave the baton to the younger generation. Probably you will be the first persson to lay critics when Mr Mandela due to his age comments in a maaner that is not political matured or according to his reputation.
Mnumzana (Sir,)please get your facts straight.
Mthunzi Dyalvani

I was wondering how much effort has been taken by the current South African leaders and/or Mr Mandela to discourage the violence by South Africans on Zimbabwen refugees. Does anyone know? I would think that words from a man being such a national hero would do wonders to stop such brutality. Or?

Posted by Carl | Report as abusive

Ok, so Mbeki stands up and rebukes Mugabe, tells him to hang and retire. THEN WHAT???????
I think most of you people do not know the type of person Mugabe is. He thrives in isolation since childhood. He likes to be a matyr eventually. He will not budge believe me. He would rather be killed than give in to external forces. Thats why I support him so much.What is in Zimbabwe that outsiders seem to know more than Zimbabweans themselves? WHy is there no noise about problems in Cameroon, Ethiopia, Rwanda where people are dying enmasse on a daily basis.Long live uncle Bob. Surely only God will remove him from there.

Posted by Abel | Report as abusive

bidding numbers

It has since been implemented in most other blogging tools. The TrackBack specification was created by Six Apart, who first implemented it

Mandela should be asking himself what did he do fro SA. Aprthaeid is alive and well, powerty is as bad as ever. Whites kept their mainds and possession stolen from the blacks. SO, he does not have any moral authority over Mugabe, at least Mugabe is trying to give land to the blacks, Land that was stolen by the white racist colonialists.

Posted by Carlos | Report as abusive