THE continued support of President Mugabe’s regime and failure by Sadc leaders to condemn human rights abuses by the Zimbabwean leader both before and after the parliamentary and presidential elections shows that Sadc is just a window-dre
ssing, out-of-touch organisation not to be taken seriously by the rest of the world.
As Archbishop Pius Ncube put it, it’s now more of a social club where leaders meet to chat and drink tea and coffee without discussing business of the people they pretend to represent. Are they afraid of Mugabe or they think restoration of the rule of law and stopping human rights abuses in Zimbabwe is playing into the hands of the West as Mugabe suggests? He has taken the region for a ride and he seems to enjoy every minute of it while Zimbabweans suffer in every respect – health, education and the economy, to name just a few.
Tanzanian president Benjamin Mkapa is a shameful example. He continues to feed us with the same old story that we suffered during colonialism. Who doesn’t know that? Should we dwell on that for the rest of our lives? We have to move forward.
The fact that President Mkapa still endorses wayward behaviour in a neighbouring country shows that he is greatly concerned about his personal relationship with President Mugabe, not the people of Zimbabwe. Why didn’t he hang on to power himself if he didn’t think passing on the stick to the next generation was important? It is careless thinking by him and his fellow brothers which is fuelling violence and political repression in Zimbabwe.
Democracy has since been killed – the arrest and torture of opposition members, independent journalists, labour leaders, closure of private media, economic meltdown, high inflation, 70% unemployment rate and collapse of health delivery system speak for themselves. Add to that shortages of everything, what else do you need to see that the train is moving in the wrong direction? Do any of the other leaders have ox-drawn ambulances in their countries? Are any of their countries pondering re-introducing steam locomotives?
Why is it that all their countries still maintain strong ties with the West or are still members of the Commonwealth but ironically support Zimbabwe to be a black sheep? Aren’t these double standards? They all have vibrant opposition parties in their countries but claim Zimbabwe’s is a former colonial-master brainchild.