|The ZIMBABWE Situation||Our
thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe |
- may peace, truth and justice prevail.
The utterances attributed to Simba Makoni in the Daily News of 25 February 2003 come as no surprise to the MDC. Makoni is mimicking long held MDC political positions on the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis.
We have remained steadfast in our conviction that it is only through a return to legitimacy freely conferred by the sovereign people of Zimbabwe that the country can begin to address the intractable problems that face us all.
A so-called government of national unity that represents an expansion of Mugabe’s dictatorial and illegitimate rule, or one that is based on a so-called reformed Zanu PF, is clearly a false start.
If as a member of Zanu PF’s politburo, Makoni’s utterances reflect the current thinking among his colleagues in the top echelons of that party, then it is an open admission and confirmation the MDC’s position that the March 2002 Presidential election was stolen making Mugabe’s regime irretrievably illegitimate.
We hope that Makoni will be bold enough to move a step further and call for Mugabe to step down paving the way for the establishment of a transitional authority leading eventually to a democratically elected government. Mere pronouncements in newspapers extolling political theories with action reflect the highest form of opportunism.
The record of this man in the service of Mugabe’s dictatorship speaks for itself. Makoni, together with Nkosana Moyo, were invited and accepted to serve Mugabe. After a few months, Moyo resigned in disgust, in the context of gross human rights violations and was denounced by Makoni’s boss as a spineless collaborator and unworthy of inclusion in a dictatorial regime. Makoni, praised by Mugabe as part of the amadoda sibili, remained a willing agent of the dictatorship, globe-trotting in a vain endeavour to sell and sanitise a murderous regime.
Zimbabweans do not need to be reminded that after the bloody 2000 parliamentary election in which 40 people died and thousands were maimed, raped, tortured and brutalised, Makoni turned a blind eye to the atrocities going on around him.
As remains a senior member of a party that has brought untold suffering to Zimbabweans, we hope Makoni has now finally decided to abandon those that glorify violence as a passport to political power.
The MDC has maintained that the political problems of Zimbabwe can only be solved through genuine and honest dialogue that would yield a legitimate political dispensation acceptable to all Zimbabweans. There is no other viable political solution on offer. The issue is not about the positionining of individuals, rather it is about an all inclusive national process to achieve democratic change.
Harare, February 25 2003.
The 116-member Non Aligned Movement was formed to promote the sacred values of freedom, justice and prosperity throughout the developing world. It played a pivotal role in the struggle to achieve these noble values, in particular the decolonisation of countries under colonial bondage. It is in this context that the MDC is alarmed at current developments at the 13th NAM summit in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Expressing solidarity with and active support for a nakedly vile and murderous dictatorship in Zimbabwe is the very opposite of the cherished values upon which the Movement was formed. It is a tragedy that the Movement has now come to be dominated by leaders who do not share or practice these values in the day-to-day governance of their nations. The organisation has now become an unwieldy and tired club submerging a minority of democratic leaders and prompting the fortunes of autocrats.
Indeed it is a total betrayal of those founding members who sought to create a brave new world where ordinary men, women and children could live in peace and prosperity.
It therefore comes as no surprise that the movement has no capacity to act decisively on post-colonial dictatorships and human rights violators within their own ranks. High-sounding political declarations and statements extolling paper freedoms devoid of any meaningful content on the ground have often reduced the NAM summits to mere talk shops massaging the egos of murderous dictators. At the current summit, NAM could pass a resolution of support for Mugabe’s outrage. But the matter ends there. The man still has to come back home empty handed to face the glaring problems he has created in Zimbabwe. Foreign currency, fuel, drugs and food are in short supply and it won’t improve. Perhaps the only tangible dividend from such a resolution would be to embolden Mugabe to intensify his repression against the peace-loving people of Zimbabwe. NAM has therefore mandated Mugabe to continue to implement genocide and other crimes against humanity.
The resolution is based on a deliberate distortion of the reality of the Zimbabwe crisis. The crisis is a crisis of governance. Contrary to the positions of the Mugabe regime, the Zimbabwe crisis has never been about land. To all well-meaning Zimbabweans, an equitable, sustainable and growth oriented land reform and redistribution programme has never been a contested issue. What is at issue are the violent and unsustainable methods employed by Mugabe and which have reduced a once vibrant and highly productive agricultural sector to a wasteland, threatening over half of the population with chronic poverty and starvation in the process. Land is used by the Mugabe regime as an alibi or smokescreen behind which crimes against humanity are committed as a strategy to remain in power. NAM ambassadors to Harare are obviously aware of this chilling reality. But they decided to ignore this, colluding with Mugabe in coming up with this resolution.
Thousands of people who were given the hastily parcelled out unsustainable pieces of land have either not taken them up because of the absence of vital agricultural support services or they have failed to make them productive because the corrupt and bankrupt Mugabe regime lacks the resources to establish new viable and productive agricultural communities. As a result, Zimbabwe will continue to hold out the begging bowl for food from the international community throughout 2003 and beyond.
It is totally false that the chaotic and unsustainable land redistribution programme carried out by Mugabe for purely personal and political reasons has benefited the majority.
Since the fraudulent March 2002 presidential poll, the Mugabe regime has done absolutely nothing to dismantle the infrastructure of tyranny upon which its rulership is based. NAM decided to ignore this basic fact. If anything, Mugabe and his associates have actually consolidated dictatorial rule to the point whereby violent autocracy has become the guiding political philosophy, contrary to the ideals of the founding fathers of NAM.
The rule of law remains effectively subverted; law enforcement continues to be selective and heavily politicised; persistent violations of human rights is still a central instrument of governance; the torture of political opponents has been intensified; ZANU PF political militias and the so-called “war veterans” continue to maraud the country perpetrating untold atrocities on a defenceless population; democratic space has been effectively shrunk and the general militirization of the political process has made it virtually impossible for the political opposition to conduct normal or legitimate political activity.
The irony of all this is that NAM, in its fight for the decolonisation of the Third World took on imperial powers precisely because of the open denial of these basic and fundamental rights.
The Public Order and Security Act (POSA) continues to criminalize all opposition political activity in the same manner and form that colonial authorities used repressive and bogus legislation against freedom fighters. The MDC finds itself in the same situation that the gallant anti-colonial freedom fighters confronted. NAM is aware of this. But it chooses to offer solidarity with a dictator whose moral equivalents are the colonialists of yesterday.
Through POSA freedom of speech, assembly and association, which are basic rights in a normal democratic political dispensation, are severely curtailed. The Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) continues to gag freedom of the Press and guarantees the Mugabe regime free rein to monopolize and abuse the public media.
The sum total of the situation in Zimbabwe reduces the NAM resolution to useless howl. The resolution simply signifies solidarity with Mugabe in his war against the people of Zimbabwe.
February 25 2003.