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Open Letter To Mbeki

I WRITE this letter to enlighten you of the correct situation prevailing in the country you have tended to have so much interest in although not in a completely impartial and progressive way.


You may be wondering who I am since I seldom write to people like you who are seemingly detached to people on the ground.

I am the downtrodden, the hungry, the frustrated, the letdown unheeded voter, the oppressed, the dispossessed by Murambatsvina, the orphaned and dehumanised by self-imposed rulers, the unemployed, the tortured, the raped and the peaceful Zimbabwean who has his patience stretched to the limit and who feels that he cannot take it anymore to the point of death.

I refuse to call yours “quiet” diplomacy on Zimbabwe for yours is not quiet but loud in its vulgar, uncaring and insensitive nature in respect of the citizens of this country.

When a true friend of Zimbabwe’s downtrodden majority, President Levy Mwanawasa called you to attend the Sadc regional bloc’s extraordinary meeting on Zimbabwe you chose to pass through Zimbabwe for reasons best known to yourself.

Of course you will state that you wanted to hear from the horse’s mouth the situation prevailing at the time and that you were best suited to do so as the appointed mediator.

But sir, an honest mediator and broker does not come out of such a meeting speaking in complete harmony with one party to the conflict he is purporting to solve.

Simple rules of diplomacy will tell you a simple answer such as “I have no comment at this juncture since I am still to meet with other heads of state” would have sufficed to the inquisitive reporters.

But you chose to be very loud in your unwavering support for the ruinous and manipulative regime in Zimbabwe.

For you to concur with the assertion that there was no crisis in Zimbabwe, smacked of one drowned in the opium of his mentor’s cellar.

Now after being quizzed in New York on what you meant, you responded by quipping that there was no electoral crisis and as usual you were “misquoted”.

Even that statement you purport to have actually said is absurd as the failure to announce election results weeks after they have been held constitutes a crisis in my book.

Your insistence to the United Nations to allow Sadc and AU to deal with Zimbabwe’s problems is instead a dishonest ploy to protect the regime in Zimbabwe while the world permanently waits for a solution from you which will never come.

Even if you say you are dealing with the problem and have produced a violent-free election, what about the post-election period?

The machinations and antics being perpetrated by the regime are clear for all to see but you choose to hear no evil nor see no evil. What a shame!

You seem to want to see more bloodshed and killings to genocidal levels for you to agree that there is a real crisis at hand.

It is the likes of you who tacitly believe that in Africa there is no crisis until there is an exchange of gunfire and mass killings.

But one does not need high levels of intellect to know that one life lost is one life too many.

We know this and we have chosen to be a peaceful people but unfortunately we have been let down first by the regime and by those like you.

What is progressive Mr Mbeki, for your regional blocs is to have proper peer review mechanisms not just in name only or those meant to appease those who rightfully see it necessary to scrutinise us.

We need to turn our regional blocks into self- scrutinising and correcting bodies.

An extension or development of such bodies would culminate in the formation of a regional election body that runs member countries’ elections as opposed to sitting governments’ appointed commissions doing so.

Such an electoral body would have members drawn from member countries seconded by their parliaments.

Since most conflicts emanate from election disputes such a body would ensure transparency and impartiality.

This, in my view is a proactive way of dealing with potential conflicts.

Let me conclude by offering my solution to the Zimbabwean question you refuse to admit is a crisis.

It is essential that the regime in Zimbabwe should not only recognise MDC but accept the will of the people which clearly mandated the MDC and Morgan Tsvangirai to form the next government.

Robert Zinyohwera,


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