Miriam Mannak
Miriam Mannak

Zim: a tad too late …

“You are hereby fired,” the Queen of England must have muttered, when stripping Mugabe of his honorary Knight Grand Cross in the Civil Division of The Most Honourable Order of Bath. “The elections are an outright sham!” squealed George Bush. “We will not recognise the outcome of the elections!” declared Europe as one, showing for the first time in history some sort of an internal unity. “The situation in Zimbabwe is ‘out of control’!” said our very own Jacob Zuma, breaking the deafening never-ending political silence we in South Africa got so very much used to. “We need the UN and SADC to intervene in Zim!” he added.

The world is gnashing its teeth about what is happening in Zimbabwe. Yes, the world is pissed off, fuming, furious, and worried about the lives of Zimbabweans. The world wants the madness, which has cost 86 lives since the elections took place on March 29, to stop. According to the opposition, 10 000 people were injured and maimed. They were sjambokked, raped, and beaten to pulp just because they put a cross behind the ‘wrong’ person’s name. Yes, the world has every right to be angry.

The world in the first place should be angry at itself, as this international call for action comes a tad too late. The world knew about opposition supporters who died because they did not back Mugabe — yet we did nothing. We knew about civilians who were beaten to pulp, just because their children were MDC-members. We knew about Zimbabweans who were terrorized by Zanu-PF militias — yet we kept quiet. We were aware of farmers and their employees who were harassed, injured, killed and chased off their properties. Yet, nothing was done. We watched how the Zimbabweans economy went down under, impoverishing millions of Zimbabweans and chasing three million refugees across the border. Yet this was answered with silence.

In case the world has missed it: The situation has been out of control for years, and the elections of March have been a sham. And Robert Mugabe, he should have never been given the position of Knight in the first place. Coming back to that: Why would a nutter whose hands are drenched in blood deserve to be distinguished and praised in such way? Thanks to his warped and evil mind, thousands of Matabeles were killed in the 1980s. Yet, about 14 years after these horrific deeds, this brain behind them was declared a knight. And the world nodded. Why didn’t we award him with the Nobel Peace prize, while we were at it?

  • Siobhan

    I share your ire, Miriam, with the governments of the world who did not take action sooner. However, in their defence when various FMs attempted to raise the issue of Zim–and Rwanda and Darfur and the ongoing ‘rebellion’ in Uganda and the killings in Kenya–they were rebuffed with the usual “Africans can manage their own affairs”, “Africa does not need colonial powers to solve its problems’, ‘Butt out”.

    Ordinary citizens from many countries have been urging their governments (through Amnesty International, Not On Our WAtch, Human Rights Watch, various internet petitions, etc.) to take action but without co-operation from the major states in Africa, nothing could be done that would not be interpreted as ‘neo-colonialist imperialism’. As long as revolutionary rhetoric and spurious idelolgies prevail in Africa–as in Burma–the western nations will be powerless to intervene.

    Even the 2001 document that is purported to be from Mbeki to Mugabe is rife with the jargon of ‘the revolution’ on the one hand, whilst on the other offering intelligent and balanced solutions to Mugabe’s self-induced economic fiasco. Poliitcal rhetoric short-circuits any attempt by ‘outsiders’ to help those who won’t help themselves by abandoning ideology in favour of intelligence. Obviously, rhetoric is not substitute for thought.

  • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com Lyndall Beddy

    Mbeki has been protecting him. There are a lot of different theories about why – but no-one really knows. Mbeki has done it again – refused to let the Security Council of the UN declare the Zim elections illegitimate.

    But Mbeki NEVER does change his mind – whatever the facts, whether on Zim, or Aids, or Jackie Selebi, or Vusi Pikoli or ANYTHING!

  • Owen

    Uncle Bob will be declared president and rule for another 5 years and the world will do nothing.

    Thabo says that the zim population must do something as they are the only ones who care what happens to them – expect a military coup as Bob battles to pay his troops.

  • Jon

    The world were much quicker on the trigger after Sharpeville in March 1960 where fewer people died. South Africa was kicked out of the Olympics and the Commonwealth, had arms and oil embargoed thrust on them, were ejected from the UN General Assembly etc

    They were as quick when Ian Smith “stole” the country by declaring UDI in 1965. The same doors slammed shut on Rhodesia.

    But even now, thanks to the Mbeki regime, the UN Security Council refuses to countenance the sham that is Zimbabwe by declaring Mugabe’s stolen election “not illegitimate”, while Smith’s UDI got no such mealy-mouthed response.

    Smith was a white man, you see? The world operates two standards in judging these things and white men are held to higher account than black ones. Whites are judged as adults, and one does not indulge bad behaviour by adults who ought to know better.

    And when blacks demand “equality”, should they not also be required to adhere equally to the standards applicable to the rest of the world? Or must they be cut an unequal amount of slack?

  • http://thoughtleader.co.za/miriammannak Miriam Mannak

    Thabo Mbeki should get his head from his behind and smell the coffee. He should care about the Zim people, instead of saying “DIY”. They were – like their leader – also accommodating towards those who struggled for SA freedom.

  • Ture Askia Aliku

    The Queen of England knighted Mugabe because he made compromises that perfectly suited the interests of the tiny minority of white Zimbabweans. In that equation, the Ndebele who died during the gukurahundi paid the ultimate price for securing white privilege in Zimbabwe.

    The ANC leadership is terrified about the situation in Zimbabwe because they made the kind of political compromises that have come to plague ZANU PF. White South Africans, who form the bulk of the noisy gallery clamoring for Mugabe’s head, seem to have no clue that Zimbabwe is South Africa’s future foretold if economic and social justice is delayed for another 10 years.

    The real moral of Zimbabwe, which many westerners and their skinfolk in southern Africa completely miss out is that you cannot transform a racist deeply unequal settler colony into a real democracy without radical economic restructuring.

    Zimbabwe’s situation is dire but western-led or -engineered regime-change isn’t going to bring about the changes that will transform that country into a better place to live for all its citizens. That’s because, Whitehall and Washington, D.C. also are deeply implicated in the short-sighted compromises that inevitably give birth to despots.

  • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com Lyndall Beddy

    Ture Askia Aliku

    You are new to this blogsite are you not? This has been canvassed many times before. Go through the alphabetical register and get yourself up to date.

    In a nutshell:
    When Mugabe took control of Zimbawe there was a massive amount of state AND tribal land which was undeveloped, and which he did not develop.

    Between 1980 and 2000 Britain, in terms of the Lancaster House Agreement, bought 30% of the developed farm land for the poor. Mugabe did not give it to the poor but to his pals as political favours. Then Britain stopped buying and told Mugabe they would spend no more until he put in place a land policy to benefit the poor. Mugabe told them, publically and on TV “Keep youe Money”

    By 2000 many of the original settlers had sold their land to new purchasers, mainly British, and taken the money and run. They knew Mugabe for the barbaric terrorist he was from the atrocities of the bush war. 70% of the remaining developed farm land was in the hands of NEW owners – mainly British, NOT the original settlers. Every sale of farmland, from 1980 on, had to be first offered to the state. So all these purchases had been with Mugabe’s approval – with new investments from new investors.

    In 2000 Mugabe lost a referendum and faced loosing the rext election. That is when the land seizures started – as a reign of terror.

    3 million farm workers were displaced and lost their jobs and the farms were trashed.

    It was nothing to do with land distibution – it was revenge for the majority of the electorate wanting to vote him OUT!