Friday, June 27, 2008

The tragedy of Mugabe

Anyone who continues to delude themselves that a white-farmer, white-western media agenda is distorting the representation of what is actually going on Zimbabwe today should try to turn on the television and see for themselves tragic image follow tragic image. Should Mbeki endorse 84-year old Mugabe in a few days time, he will have sealed his fate as a disaster for Southern Africa, with Zim blood on his hands. As for Mugabe - he's now right up there with Mobutu and Amin as a catastrophe for the continent. The African Union looks on, helpless. Mandela's words were too little, too late. Quite diplomacy, the 'African way', has utterly failed the people of Zimbabwe.


Sandrine 6:34 pm  


"les grands esprits se rencontrent"I put on my blog today a CNN article about the voting.
It's a mockery of the whole process and a tragedy for the people.


rr 7:32 pm  

While the situation in Zimbabwe is atrocious comparisons with Mobutu and Amin are really overstating the situation and do a disservice to the tens and hundreds of thousands who suffered and died under the regime of those two. It's this kind of overblown rhetoric which gives the ridiculous claims of white farmer / ad agency etc credibility in the eyes of many in Southern Africa.

Jeremy 7:47 pm  

My friend you are forgetting that hundreds and thousands have died violently under Mugabe's watch. An estimated 10,000 Ndebele were murdered by Mugabe's Fifth brigade.

See here for example:

The comparison remains apt.

Anonymous,  8:05 pm  

@ jeremy, what do you think the British were doing at the time of this Ndebele massacre? Why was there no outcry back then, but now that he has chased away the whites from his land, there is wahala?

Answers on a post card.


Anonymous,  8:53 pm  

jeremy, why did the massacre only come onto the scene post 2000?

why wasn't an effort made to remove this tyrant sooner?

Anonymous,  10:50 pm  

Interesting piece by Matthew Parris

rr 11:15 pm  

I know about gukurahundi. I helped research and write reports about it at the time. As I did too about the human rights situation in Uganda. And the comparison, imho, is not apt.

Anonymous,  12:24 am  

aagh, Jeremy, you don come again. I was just watching the Beeb World News today. Their main headline compared Mugabe and Mandela. The main similarity was that they both fought for independence for their own people. The main difference between the two of them, of course, was that Mugabe rebelled against his white masters. Mandela did not - and instead preferred to keep South Africa in white hands.

Anengiyefa 11:49 am  

We have a tendency to polarise the Zimbabwean situation into (a) those who oppose white domination, and (b) those who dont. But I think this is a mistake.

What should be topmost in the minds of Zimbabwe's leadership, is the well-being of the country's citizenry. Unfortunately this has not been the case, and what we see is that the politics of the day has occupied a predominant position in their thinking, and in ours.

It is difficult to justify the price that the majority of Zimbabweans are having to pay for pursuing the ideal of black control, and it is especially tragic because there is no likely positive outcome on the horizon. Mugabe has ruined his country in the same way that Mobutu did, because he has put his politics first before everything else, irrespective that this has not been beneficial to the majority of his countrymen.

Mr C 7:42 pm  

The article posted by anonymous 10.50pm is some tasty food for thought.
Is Mugabe really the problem? Could an offensive to topple Mugabe create another Iraq?

Anengiyefa 12:52 am  

Anon 10:50 PM I totally agree with Matthew Parris that eliminating Mugabe will by no means end the brutality in Zimbabwe. It is more likely than not that Mugabe's demise will be engineered by ambitious and powerful elements within his own ZANU PF, elements who are the real brains behind the brutality that we see today.

Anonymous,  10:55 am  

The most important thing is what the zimbabwean people want. I have spoken to loads of zimbabweans and they are sick and tired of Mugabe. The truth is their economy is in shambles and people are starving, they cannot plan for the future, there are no jobs. Those are the people we really need to think about.

Anonymous,  12:31 pm  

The tragedy of Mugabe is really the tragedy of the whole of Africa. I am led to believe that the 'laissez-faire' attitude of the african leaders to the political brigandage in Zimbabwe is simply because they recognise these as familiar pages of a book, "Perpetuity of Power", which adorn the shelves of their book club.

Anonymous,  1:01 am  

The tragedy of Africa is that Bongo, Biya, etc are doing exactly what Mugabe is doing and nobody around the world cares.

Anonymous,  7:09 am  

I think Mugabe is falling into that role of the liberator who doesn't realize his stage time is up.
I believe he had played a major role in Zimbabwe's modern history whatever happens now.
I believe he should have used Jerry Rawling of Ghana as an example..

The problem with leader like Mugabe is that he came to power with group and that group has vested interest in keeping Mugabe in power.

I think it is better to engage and deal with Mugabe instead of all sanction talk and demonizing press. At the end of the day, it is the people of Zim that will get hurt and not Mugabe and his crew..

unstrung 9:33 am  

Jeremy, You imply that there is a simple binary division between the apologists and the Mugabe-haters. If only... In my understanding, Mugabe is a problem. Of course. He should go. But it is a great mistake to view the situation in Zim today as simply about the errors and madness and power-hunger of one man.
And regarding the western media, of course, a lot of what they report represents a serious truth - the levels of violence et cetera. But most of the western media is running its reporting on Zimbabwe from an extraordinarily hypocritical stance. It is worth pondering whether the British and Americans would speak so loudly against Mr M if Chevron and BP, for example, were there pumping hundreds of barrels of oil from the ground. You cannot support the western media's coverage of Zim without looking at its coverage of the southern African region as a whole, and IMHO, of the globe.
In Angola, from where I have recently returned from a 3 month trip, people wonder why a man who has held power for 28 years is so much more of a villain than their own leader - Jose Eduardo dos Santos - who has been around for 29 years as President, heading a party that has ruled for 33 years AND also killed thousands.
I think it is critical that consistency and integrity are factored into the equation when analysing the media. It's not a pick 'n' mix sweet parade at Woolies!
Because of their lousy coverage of the continent in general, they have lost influence over Zim. Sadly. Very very sadly.

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