THE debate about whether or not the England cricket team should tour Zimbabwe has gone on seemingly endlessly.
It has involved just about everyone except the ordi
nary suffering Zimbabweans. The only reason that the England team are finally coming is to avoid punitive financial sanctions by the feeble and amoral International Cricket Council.
England’s captain Michael Vaughan has confirmed that they do not want to visit and play cricket in a country which has such an appalling record of human rights abuses against its own citizens.
For most Zimbabweans the cricket matches will be a non-event, an irrelevance to their daily suffering.
However, this truncated tour, involving reluctant tourists who would rather not come, gives even docile and passive Zimbabweans a chance to register their disapproval of our discredited regime and all that it stands for. And they can register their disapproval without taking any risk whatsoever. All they have to do is not attend any of these cricket matches.
Remember cricket enthusiast Roy Bennett, now languishing in jail — suffering for his principled stand on behalf of Zimbabwe (not for some gentle pushing of Zimbabwe’s Minister of Injustice). Honour him and all those who have suffered at the hands of this callous regime by turning your back on this tour. Prior to his incarceration Bennett himself stated that he would not watch any of these games.
Remember Zimbabwean cricket stars Andy Flower and Henry Olonga, now in exile because they had the courage to speak out? They too are against this tour. Honour them by ignoring this tour.
Let the cricket matches be played in front of empty terraces except the innocent children bussed in to fill the stands.
If Vaughan and his team would rather be doing anything else other than playing cricket in Zimbabwe, the least that Zimbabweans can do is show that they also would rather be doing anything else than watching them play here at this time.
Don’t let some idiot claim that politics and sport must be kept separate! Such absurd statements can surely only be uttered by those who think that the earth is flat and the moon is made of cheese (or that Zimbabwe has just had a bumper harvest).