CAPE TOWN - The collapse of Zimbabwe has exposed the Southern African Development Community’s ineffectiveness, Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Friday.
In his weekly newsletter, he questioned whether an “African solution” would solve the problems in that country.
“There is, in my book, no such thing as a ‘made in Africa’ solution.
Zimbabwe either holds ‘free and fair elections', like those recently held in America, or it does not.
“Zimbabwe either adheres to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (to which it is a signatory) or it does not.
It happens to do neither, and no amount of pontificating about ‘African solutions’ can disguise that fact.
“Her people are starving, the hyper-inflation is running sky high, there is a humanitarian disaster of biblical proportions emerging with the cholera outbreak, and the country is, for all intents and purposes, not being governed.
“It is time to call a spade a spade,” he said.
Noting there had been both SADC and African Union efforts to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe, Buthelezi said these organisations had been established “to be the architecture of governance”.
“But they, in themselves, are not solutions -- as SADC has just so ignobly demonstrated.”
The disintegration of Zimbabwe had “miserably exposed” SADC’s ineffectiveness to intervene. Africans had fallen prey to the notion of relative standards.
“We are expected to hold ‘free and fair elections’ like everyone else, but there is an unspoken bargain that we will be given a bit of leeway. A ‘bit’ of voter fraud or a ‘few’ acts of intimidation -- even murder --will be overlooked as long as the election is held and the result expresses the will of the majority.
“As an African, who shares the joy of millions of people across the globe at the election of an African American as the leader of the free world,
I believe it is time to say that we -- as Africans -- should be expected to adhere to the same standards as everyone else,” he said.