PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe should take a cue from the old adage that charity begins at home in as far as clamouring for democratic practices and reforms on the international stage is concerned.
It is undeniable the points Mugabe was raising at the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in New York last week, including that Africa should not continue to be side-lined, are valid and pertinent.
Indeed the UN needs to reform so that it does not continue to pander to the interests of a few powerful veto-wielding nations whose interests run contrary to the views and aspirations of Africa and the developing world. I also concur that Africa should have at least two Security Council seats.
Respect for multilateral engagement, not unilateralism, should be the guiding principle in international relations and Mugabe was spot on in articulating this point.
Be that as it may, Mugabe’s eloquence in highlighting the UN’s unfair modus operandi cannot distract us from the equally glaring injustices perpetrated by his government at home.
While Mugabe longs for an era where all nations are treated equally and fairly, whether they are big or small, most Zimbabweans continue to yearn for an era where their freedoms are upheld and they can freely choose their leaders –– 32 years after Independence.
Zimbabweans have borne the brunt of Zanu PF’s fascist unilateralism from the Gukurahundi massacres in the 1980s to Operation Murambatsvina in 2005 up to the violence-ridden presidential run-off elections in 2008, to mention but a few instances.
Despite agreeing to institute reforms expounded in the Global Political Agreement, Zanu PF has taken a unilateral approach by throwing spanners in the implementation matrix.
Contrary to the arrangement of the inclusive government, Zanu PF is running a parallel government to where proceeds from diamond-mining are being channelled elsewhere at the expense of the fiscus.
While Mugabe complained about the cosmetic reforms the UN undertook, his regime is busy making cosmetic media reforms. The broadcasting arena is still off-limits to those not aligned to Zanu PF while the government want to give the impression of media plurality.
Yet Mugabe has the temerity to posture to the West with righteous indignation as if he stands for multilateralism and reform. His ruinous reign in Zimbabwe is ample testimony to the contrary.
Mugabe’s words ring hollow as long as he does not do the same at home.