UN chief Ban Ki-Moon has said his organisation can do little to help Zimbabwe because of its leaders’ refusal to allow it to mediate. UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband described Mr Ban’s closed-door briefing on the situation in Zimbabwe as “devastating”. The meeting ended without agreement on a motion to censure Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, which a diplomat present said was due to opposition from South Africa. (BBC)
US, Britain Press UN Security Council To Engage On Zimbabwe Crisis
South Africa blocks resolution on Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe cholera toll reaches 1000
Then again ??? Zim deal taking too long - Zuma
At present South Africa’s “strategy” in Zimbabwe seems to be to frustrate any efforts by the international community to intervene, while producing a “mediator” whose conduct parallels some of the prosecutors who have been made magistrates and adjudicate lower court trials. They “know” the accused is guilty; they just need to hear the evidence so they can pick out the parts of the state case they like. Just as former president Mbeki knows Mugabe is right, he just needs to highlight why his continued presence is necessary.
Remind anyone of Ginwala and Khampepe?
Irrespective of the outcomes and recommendations of those commissions the government went ahead with what they had already decided in the first place. In both instances weakening the fight against crime and corruption. While Cope is suggesting they would implement Khampepe it will be interesting to hear their take on Zimbabwe. The Democratic Alliance has always been strong on tackling crime and corruption and slammed our stance on Zimbabwe.
Quiet diplomacy, which has evolved into loud running interference for Mugabe, has ensured that the deadlock continues across our northern border. A stalemate that ensures that no structured and permanent relief is in sight for the starving masses of Zimbabwe. Indeed we are even treated to South Africans who believe that Tsvangirai, who has never ruled the country a day in his life, is responsible and that highlighting the plight of those masses is alarmist.
Unfortunately I have to be alarmist:
- Five million on the brink of starvation
- Cholera epidemic, which could affect up to 60 000, which is spilling over into the rest of the region.
- Anthrax outbreak
- Concealing outbreaks of fatal diseases endangering entire region
- Unemployment of 80%
- 231-million percent inflation when they stopped counting in July
- Soldiers starting to riot
- Abduction of journalists and MDC supporters
- Total collapse of the currency and most of the state’s infrastructure
- At least two million (my estimate is four million) refugees in South Africa and four million overall costing billions to the host countries
Let’s examine where Zimbabwe is right now:
Over the weekend Mugabe published a draft constitutional amendment paving the way for the unity government in the government gazette. This would allow for Tsvangirai to be sworn in as Prime Minister but does not resolve the key deadlock over cabinet appointments. In terms of day to day running of the country Tsvangirai needs to control Finance and Home Affairs without which the important members of the international community won’t recognise the deal and bail out the country.
Before I hear argument on Tsvangirai’s intransigence I would remind readers that the MDC won the election and agreed to power sharing. This despite their members being murdered and tortured. In the past six weeks, 22 MDC or civil rights activists have been seized, according to Amnesty International.
In order to try and deflect the blame and possibly declare a state of emergency (thereby avoiding the strictures of parliament and the constitution) Mugabe and the Zanu-PF are claiming the following:
Cholera and other diseases are germ warfare being conducted by the West — not dirty water and failed sanitation. Of course if this were true instead of concealing cholera they would have been screaming this from the rooftops from day one.
Botswana is training MDC militias to overthrow the government. Which begs the question why Botswana would ever involve itself in Zimbabwe militarily? Of course Botswana’s condemnation of Mugabe and the Zanu-PF’s militant solutions to all of that country’s problems may be clouding their judgment into believing that others behave like they do.
The State Media (which is like saying Dr Seuss) says that there was an assassination attempt on Air Force commander Piri on the weekend. Why the MDC would want to take out the Air Force commander beggars belief but perhaps when the Zimbabwe official media are finished Cat in a hat they might want to find out what happened to those activists and real life stories.
Mugabe is also suggesting that if the MDC won’t form the new government on his conditions then perhaps the time has come for new elections. Tsvangirai has told him to bring it on provided that international observers run it. That should be fair enough — picture the presidential vote called out by a neutral IEC officer:
Robert G Mugabe: Alan Dyason, 4 Swan Lane, Bulawayo and Alice Edna Hlambo, 3 Rally Street, Harare (apparently a cousin) — Morgan Tsvangirai, 2 345 435″.
A “slight” swing from the result when Bob was controlling the vote.
It is time to make Zimbabwe and our other foreign affairs policies one of our priorities when assessing the merits of political parties for election 2009.
Last time out it didn’t feature and look at the result.