Saturday, December 06, 2008

Zimbabwe: World Leaders Tell Mugabe "Your Time is Up".

Gordon Brown has joined a growing chorus of international figures finally stating that enough is enough and asking that Mugabe stand down in Zimbabwe. For too long fears of the way Mugabe might exploit Britain's colonial past has caused UK politicians to tiptoe around this issue, but it would seem that the recent outbreak of cholera amongst Zimbabwe's population has at last freed Brown to call for some kind of international action.

He said: "This is now an international rather than a national emergency. International because disease crosses borders.

"International because the systems of government in Zimbabwe are now broken. There is no state capable or willing of protecting its people.

"International because - not least in the week of the 60th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights - we must stand together to defend human rights and democracy, to say firmly to Mugabe that enough is enough."

Mr Brown said he had "been in close contact with African leaders to press for stronger action to give the Zimbabwean people the government they deserve".

He added: "The people of Zimbabwe voted for a better future. It is our duty to support that aspiration."

This is heady stuff compared with the way we all pussyfooted around the man who refused to accept that he had lost an election, even though he had beaten large parts of his populace to force them into voting for him.

And, in the dying days of the Bush administration, it has become too much even for them to witness.

US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, said it was "well past time" for him to leave office.

The forces against Mugabe really are starting to grow and the talk is of some kind of intervention.

And the Nobel Peace Prize laureate, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, said African nations should come together to use military force if Mr Mugabe refused to go.

Archbishop Tutu said Mr Mugabe had committed "gross violations" against Zimbabwe's people and ruined "a wonderful country".

His comments came a day after Kenya's Prime Minister Raila Odinga said African governments should oust Zimbabwe's leader.

There is still no unanimity amongst the security council as to how the international community should respond, although obviously the very first priority should be humanitarian.

But, Zimbabwe is now almost bedridden, and it will be impossible to fully cure its illness without cutting out the cancer which afflicts that nation. And that is the presidency of Robert Mugabe.

The noises coming from Africa suggest that he might finally be losing the support which has allowed him to keep going in the face of international opposition.

Even South Africa, the country which under Mbeki did more than any other to allow Mugabe to remain in power, are calling this a time for action.

Government spokesman Themba Maseko said South Africa was sending a team to assess how it could provide aid to Zimbabwe, which made a rare appeal for international aid after declaring the cholera outbreak a national emergency.

He said Zimbabweans were "dying in the streets" as the country's leaders failed to reach agreement on the formation of a unity government almost nine months after an election left the country in political limbo.

"The time for action is now and we believe the Zimbabwean government is on board and wants help from the international community," he said, expressing hope the fresh crisis would help solve the political deadlock.

"I would be extremely surprised if the outbreak of cholera, the death of innocent Zimbabweans as a result of a failure of politicians to reach an agreement does not spur them to more urgent action."

However, the South Africans continue to think that Mugabe can finally be persuaded to participate in the democratic process, which strikes me as fanciful.

There is no longer any time to pander to South Africa's foolishness:
Health minister David Parirenyatwa admitted: "Our central hospitals are literally not functioning."

"No matter how much medicine they bring, they are not going to contain this cholera, because they are treating the symptoms rather than the disease," says Tongesai, a well-educated man in his mid-30s whose younger brother was admitted earlier in the day. "The cholera is coming from the water, which is contaminated. It is not the boreholes that are bringing in the contaminated water, but the water from the city. That water is now getting to the people without being treated, and that is how people get cholera. It is tantamount to drinking raw sewage." And this is why Mugabe's government bears ultimate responsibility for the suffering of its people.

This is why we can no longer simply treat the symptoms, we must cut out the disease, and that means removing Mugabe.

Click title for full article.

No comments: