Curse of a continent



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.


9 thoughts on “Curse of a continent

  1. Intervention – ‘This is appealing but sadly unrealistic and unsustainable prospect. ‘

    I take it you would say the same about a neighbour who imprisoned, beat and starved his family especially if he claimed that the only reason anyone would intervene would be racism.

    Life expectancy in Zimbabwe has fallen by over a year for every year of Mugabe’s terrible reign. Assassination is the right and courageous action pour encourager les autres.

  2. A neighbour is a completely different situation he would be acting within the legal jurisdiction of the state and intervention would be entirely proper. A state leader, whether legitimate or not, is a different matter. We must err on the side of caution. The time for a swift assassination has come and gone. He is too entrenched in Zimbabwe now to just ‘disappear’ and a quick death is not the way the Mugabe story should end as far as I am concerned. Also one in my personal opinion should not play god.. the mans 84 for god sake nature will take its course sooner or later.

    Mugabe should be put on trial, as the MDC have indicated, and humiliated for the treatment of his people not given the satisfaction of a swift death. Let the true horrors of his reign be well documented by a legitimate court of law and let his end be on a par with Slobodan Milosevic, alone in a prison cell and not Saddam Hussein, martyr for the ’cause’.

    The way to do this as I have expressed in the post is for African leaders to get their arse in gear and deal with him. I believe we should employ underhand and coercive tactics if necessary to force them in to action. After all they are unlikely to assist while it isn’t in their own interest.. so make it their interest. The Africans have to deal with another African.

    Mugabe’s assassination by a former colonial power would only seek to cement the fallacy of the Mugabe dictatorship… that he was a black man standing up to the white man and the white man couldn’t tolerate it. Whereas a trial could expose Mugabe for the fraud he is as the evidence would be vast and indisputable and the atrocities he committed against his people will finally be fully exposed.

    Assassination, while understandibly tempting, is a cop out.

  3. “The way to do this as I have expressed in the post is for African leaders to get their arse in gear and deal with him.”

    Cloud-cuckoo land. Don’t forget that Mugabe and Mbeki’s wives are sisters. Zimbabwe has collapsed. Millions have died due to our inaction.

  4. Well then the South African people have to bypass their governments political line and put as miuch pressure on them to act as possible. Forgive me prague but that type of attitude ‘Its never goinng to happen diplomatically so opt for the easy option’ is fueling this situation. If Mugabe was assassinated Im sure that another Zealot or military commander linked to Zanu PF would declare a state of emergency and take his place.

    This situation can only be resolved through diplomatic means. The latest news is that South African dock workers have refused to unload arms from china bound for Zimbabwe. This type of boycott is sorely needed and could spring further protests in South Africa. Indeed even the ruling party in South Africa are beginning to express concerns against the view and will of Mbeki. This gives us cause for hope.

  5. Empirically, assassinations have been shown to work well in promoting political change.

    I was in favour of this option about 5 years ago and see no reason to change that stance – those pursuing the diplomatic course have already failed – the only debate that remains is the scale of the failure.

  6. believe it or not… I was in favour of this option (assassination)… and then I realised it wasn’t practical. I admit we, and others, have failed in the past however this is a different situation and interntional opposition is rallied against mugabe and indeed african opinion is slowly shiftiing. Mugabe can still be brough to justice so dont give up just yet. It is never to late and I stand by my belief that a swift execution is not justice, it is Mugabe-esque style muder and achieves nothing in the long term.

  7. “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.”

    The fact that we only left Zimbabwe in the 1980s would suggest that some of the blame for bad infrastructure might be ours. I don’t like the one that ‘these bloody Africans couldn’t manage democracy and development if their lives depended on it’. I’d maybe suggest that its the shocking unequal state of international development (which is our fault) that has led to the situation in Africa and not the undemocratic actions of the past few years by one man’s party.

  8. Africa in general is an absolute wreck, with civil wars and exploitation everywhere to be seen, and personally I don’t think we are to blame. However, we could have intervened, and perhaps should have.

    Lembit Opik (idiot) said on Question Time this week that the only reason we haven’t intervened is because there is no oil in Iraq, he’s wrong. The reason we haven’t intervened is the reason we don’t do anything about Israel, Pakistan or just about anywhere else in the world that has problems. Guilt. Whether it be about the war or the empire, the UK is too ashamed of its past that it fails to help those that need it, whether that is the Palistinians, Pakistani’s, Zimbabweans or whoever.

    On the subject of an African solution, I don’t think anybody is really stupid enough to think that Africans are going to try and sort this out, that would just be ridiculous, eventually, we’re going to have to intervene, and which ever government, Conservative or Labour, it is, will no doubt be labelled “war criminals” and have mass protests from middle-class white people with no sense of what suffering truly is, i.e. Iraq.

  9. Most of these african leaders cannot hold mugabe accountable because they themselves are guilty of the same thing . check out my blog post on this issue

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