The situation in Zimbabwe is dire; this much is clear however what to do to combat the dictatorial actions of Mugabe remains uncertain and a solution remains ever more elusive. It has become apparent, beyond any reasonable doubt, that Robert Mugabe lost the elections last month yet he remains in office. The initial hopes of an impending Mugabe resignation proved unfounded. So the question arises what should we do, or more importantly what can we do?
Many people have suggested to me lately that Britain and America should act and remove Mugabe by force. This is appealing but sadly unrealistic and unsustainable prospect. Robert Mugabe has based his dictatorship on anti-colonial rhetoric and he has continually exploited Zimbabwean, and indeed African, fears of a return to colonial domination.
He has, through undemocratic and manipulative means, forged a wholly unjustified image of himself as a black-hero freeing Zimbabwe from colonial shackles. Any western intervention is therefore undesirable and impractical and would serve to justify Mugabe rhetoric. This situation is a matter for Africa and the solution rests with Africa’s leaders. The West’s only duty is to continue to put pressure on the continents leaders to bring Mugabe to task.
The man is a butcher, a dictator and nothing more than a common criminal. With his unjustifiable swagger and his fitting Hitler-style moustache he continually rubs the West’s nose in his rhetoric, as he is well aware we can do nothing of any real threat to him.
If I were PM, which I’m sure is a daunting prospect for many readers, I would put as much pressure on African leaders, both publicly and privately, to deal with Mugabe and employ any means necessary to ensure that this blatant violation of democracy, and indeed human rights, does not simply become yesterday’s news.
The ignorance of some African leaders, Mbeki in particular, is the root cause of Zimbabwe’s continued turmoil and decline. Successive African leaders have as much responsibility to bear for the situation in Zimbabwe as Mugabe himself. They have implicitly condemned the Zimbabwean people to their current and prospective fate through their inaction.
Having family living in Kenya and friends in South Africa I am well aware of the situation in Zimbabwe and realise that the horrific stories that tickle out about state suppression is only half the story of Mugabe brutality. Those who claim to be African patriots and African liberators cannot claim any such title when they turn a blind eye to the barbaric and inhumane treatment of their fellow people. It is time that African leaders stepped up to the plate either voluntarily or through coercive means.
The fact remains that this situation will undoubtedly get worse before it can get better… if it ever does.