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Onus now on Sadc to act

CONGRATULATIONS to the MDC on celebrating their 5th anniversary on September 11.


By sheer coincidence, while throwing out some old newspapers this same weekend, I

came upon a copy of the Times of August 8 1983, and this headline caught my eye: “Zanu to rule forever, says Mugabe”.

I reproduce the report in full: “Mr Robert Mugabe, the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, marked the founding of his ruling Zanu party’s 20th anniversary yesterday with a renewed pledge to create a one-party state.”

President Mugabe told several thousand cheering supporters in Harare’s Parliament Square: “A one-party state is what we want and that it shall be.”

He said Zanu PF should govern “forever” and when it became the only party, only card-carrying members would be allowed as MPs.

Those were the celebrations for Zanu PF’s 20th anniversary.

Leopard Mugabe has changed not one spot since that anniversary, nor will he ever. Democracy? What’s that? Never! he still continues to say.

There are opposition MPs in parliament now but they are strait-jacketed by regulations which ensure they are effectively powerless – except by negatively walking out.

The Sadc, United Nations and countries of the West should pile on pressure to ensure this man is obliged to hold the March elections freely and fairly in terms of Sadc norms and standards.

The hopes of every right-thinking person in this country and throughout the civilised world rest on Sadc taking an early, serious and continuing responsibility to ensure the elections comply with the norms and standards Sadc has laid down.

Western countries could help by repeating previous offers of financial support and foreign aid to the winning party – whether MDC or Zanu PF – but only if the election is proved satisfactorily democratic.

Only six months remain before the election; little time to repair the damage caused by this most brutal of governments. We need action now!


PNR Silversides,

Harare.

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