The dead will not bury their dead by Tanonoka Joseph Whande

via The dead will not bury their dead by Tanonoka Joseph Whande | SW Radio Africa Monday, May 19, 2014

They gathered in Ethiopia last week.

Africa’s Ministers of Justice and Legal Affairs and Attorneys General, who are responsible for upholding the law on the continent, met over two days in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, last Thursday and Friday.

These are men and women, who give legal advice to their presidents and Heads of State; people who map national laws and the very same ones who are expected to uphold the rule of law on our continent.

These are the custodians of Africa’s laws and are responsible for keeping the law among Africa’s 1.1 billion inhabitants.

According to an African Union Commission press release, participants included African Ministers of Justice/Attorneys General, Ministers responsible for issues such as human rights, constitutionalism and rule of Law, Legal Experts from AU Member States, Representatives from the African Court on Human and Human and Peoples’ Rights, etc.

It was a big indaba indeed!

The African Union has 14 objectives, three of which are “to promote peace, security, and stability on the continent” (6), “to promote democratic principles and institutions, popular participation and good governance” (7) “and to promote and protect human and peoples’ rights in accordance with the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights and other relevant human rights instruments”.

But this gathering of law experts had varied agendas last week.

‘With a mission to develop instruments that reflect the collective shared values of the AU Member States’, the meeting was set to consider, among others, draft agendas ranging from Cross-Border Cooperation, Cyber-Security, to Protocol on the Establishment of the African Monetary Fund. They even intended to debate what they called “a draft of African Model Law on Biosafety”.

It, therefore, remains a mystery as to how these learned men and women ended up not only discussing but demanding immunity for “sitting African leaders for their part in genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

It is of concern why all of Africa’s leaders want this.

I am not in a position to chronicle atrocities committed by leaders of other countries outside Africa. My concern right now is why a group of legal experts from all of Africa’s countries, and with the blessing of the African Union, gather to demand immunity for crimes committed or to be committed.

Currently, African leaders show deplorable attitudes towards the lives of their citizens. They have become more of security risks to their own people than terrorists are.

They abuse and steal from national coffers.

What really is wrong with African leaders? How do they corrupt men and women who slave for decades to achieve international status as law experts but who then willingly fight to defeat the legal machinery for which they worked so hard to be part of?

Is this terrorism of a sort that is now coming from our legal wing of the world?

After what we have witnessed under Robert Mugabe, how much more freedom to abuse us does he want?

If we, in Zimbabwe, look at the way the government is behaving, we can see that this cancer of evil was born well before independence. It is all clear that from the Gukurahundi Massacres, murders of opposition party supporters to the current national embarrassment of the Chingwizi residents, the culture of evil, the culture of not to serve and protect was ZANU-PF and Mugabe’s aim.

Now they want immunity, not only over what crimes they have already committed but for crimes they intend to commit in the future.

If they are going to kill us all, they will have to do it without our consent or permission. I do not see how we can give Mugabe a legal platform to murder us. He has already done that. He has already destroyed the nation.

The heart of the matter is that, rigged elections or not, African leaders should not deprive those who believe in them of the very things that they made them believe in.

Africa’s leaders are collectively responsible for the deterioration of our continent and the deaths of more of our compatriots than those we lost during colonial times.

However they became our leaders, African presidents should neither ask nor be granted a blank cheque to continue with the abuse, murder and freedom to abuse public funds. It took us so long to be where we are.

Africa first suffered under colonial rule. Why, God, why do Africans have to suffer worse under their own?

How much can the African people take; how much can we forgive when our leaders kill our children and destroy our schools, industry and livelihoods?

We have a backlog of African leaders to prosecute over issues of political murders and abuse of power and we are not in a position to offer them further leeway to continue and do worse under a legal framework.

As Al Bashir wants to kill a woman for being Christian, Mugabe is starving people.

We are at their mercy. If we elected them, why are they abusing the nation?

As we progress as nations, as a people, we leave marks. We leave trails like snails and can never run away from ourselves.

But we cannot give our signatures to permit a group of idiotic self-serving leaders to do as they please with us. Laws are meant to curtail our excesses; laws give us boundaries to enjoy freedom without taking away from others.

Laws, like the Bible is to our existence, are a ’how to’ manual, telling us about all the freedom we deserve from our country and protection we expect from our government and how to use it.

Laws keep us equal and for the African Union to be part to such despicable motives is unacceptable.

We want democracy in Africa. We want to be left alone to care for our families. We want our governments to protect us as we go about doing these things for the betterment of our families and for the strengthening of our countries.

Why do African leaders want immunity?

Why do they want to do anything that demands of them to seek immunity? What are they up to? They are doing diabolically bad enough as it is. And they are doing it without anyone’s permission.

I can be persuaded to understand that there is always a seed that falls on rocks or bad soil; that there will always be a sperm that cannot swim. I may be persuaded that there is always a rotten apple or tomato that spoils the whole bunch but I will be damned if I am persuaded to grant all of Africa’s leaders immunity to kill our defenseless people at will without consequences.

This is an absolute outrage.

These Presidents and Head of States seek their own authority and protection of themselves from the same courts we would, without choice, be compelled to approach to seek recourse after abuse by these same leaders.

The African Union is a shameful organization. Those who are interested in promoting the retardation of Africa should applaud and congratulate the African Union because no colonial power, president or king has destroyed Africa more than the African Union.

Mugabe has done us wrong. We complain to the world. To the AU. To SADC.

Mugabe has killed our people and continues to destroy our country.

But we cannot cry to the African Union because it was created for the purpose of protecting evil African leaders. And they are doing a good job of it.

We cannot cry to SADC because it was created for the same purpose of abusing people, of killing people and of keeping quiet when atrocities are being committed against innocent people.

We cannot appeal to anyone in Africa. And this takes us back to the foreigners.

No doctor will bring youth to Mugabe or make our nation better.

We are told to let the dead bury their dead.

No, sir. In Zimbabwe, only the living will bury their dead.

All we want is for the dead to remain dead. Or remain in Singapore.

We have already been dealing with the spooks for a long time.

I am Tanonoka Joseph Whande and that, my fellow Zimbabweans, is the way it is today, Monday, May 19th, 2014.



  • comment-avatar
    zvichanaka 8 years ago

    No one takes heed of your wise words Mr Whande. We unfortunately are a docile population easily intimidated into submission by our leaders who then take full advantage of us then go on to make hay whilst the sun shines. Trouble is that they are fully aware that there are no consequences to their evil actions. Half of them imposed themselves upon us through rigged elections. A united approach is needed to solve this problem and we need to open debate on how to do this.

    • comment-avatar

      No more debate, the people of Zimbabwe need to get up and do something. The time for talk has passed.

  • comment-avatar

    They do it because they can,because we allow them. It’s our fault that all over Africa we’re ruled by thieving, cruel beasts who want to rule forever with impunity and immunity.Apart from the Belgians and Portuguese,the colonists were never this bad!

  • comment-avatar
    John Thomas 8 years ago

    Lawyers as a species have grave problems with simple ideas like right and wrong. If you have legal problems in your life watch how they will try and strip you bare. Why should those lawyer who have risen to positions of power be any different?

  • comment-avatar

    Good analysis Joseph. We are between a rock and hard surface. This is the time we should support Botswana s policy that we will not send observers in future election in SADC because we failed to follow the very guidelines we put ourselves. AU is now led by the mafia type of leaders who care about protecting their criminality than the welfare of its citizens. Who is AU serving now?

  • comment-avatar
    japananga 8 years ago

    I agree with you Jose. This is madness at its best.

  • comment-avatar

    Why do African leaders want immunity?
    Why immunity for “sitting African leaders for their part in genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity”?
    Are these not crimes if you are a president?
    Who else but presidents have the power to commit such crimes?
    Who else but presidents can suborn police forces and armies to commit such crimes?
    Who else but presidents can suborn judiciaries to close their eyes to such crimes?
    Why does the African Union want to empower Africa’s leaders to commit such crimes without fear of prosecution?
    Is this freedom? Is this Uhuru? Is this Independence?
    Who are these leaders but ordinary men who have drunk too much power?
    A law is an idea made manifest.
    Immunity means that genocide and war crimes and crimes against humanity are not crimes in Africa.
    We reject this.

  • comment-avatar
    Straight Shooter 8 years ago

    Lets all seek modern leadership and stop voting on tribal lines. Only then will we be able to defeat the African dictator monster that we all cry about everyday!

  • comment-avatar

    I love this man’s heart there is something so foundational and so deep about his writing. We may not agree with everything every time but there is something so poignant and true in this article. he goes right to my very core. may the Lord in Christ Jesus use this man greatly.

  • comment-avatar

    They set up kings but not by Me. They make princes but I did not acknowledge them. Hosea 8:4 Our leaders twist the scriptures and it makes them feel secure. God will judge and is judging.

  • comment-avatar
    nyoni 8 years ago

    Whande I applaud your article but the truth is far from the blame game. Go back prior to most of our countries indepedence. Ghana . The leaders were western educated and the list goes on. Our Bob had a passion for anything Western especially British and so he slept in bed with his arch enemy of today. These same powers endorsed Bob and their pride to extricate themselves from their error is simply to much. They all will run the course until Bob the gereatric dies. Only then will they say anything about Bob. The fact of the matter is the AU is a social club for these brutes to pat each other on the back and discuss how to get rich at their peoples expense. They have no interest in Africa. You cant say that after nearly 50years of Independance there has been no improvement in a country . If that is the case and it is for most African countries can we then say Are we cursed. If we are cursed then we are cursed by the leaders we have inhereted. God bless Africa.

  • comment-avatar
    Fred Hunidzarira 8 years ago

    Sorry I disagree that only African leaders want immunity from being tried for human rights. Take a look mat the foreigners that you feel or think do not have immunity. Thousands slaughtered in Iraq, Afghanistan, Vietnam,Korea the list is endless the leaders of the powers who did this and continue their massacres are immune. Please forget separating African problems with those faced by all other citizens of our planet we are under the yoke of demons.View the problem on the continent as just one of many around the planet. You are tending to magnify the problem on the continent and miss the issue that all people on this our world are not free.

  • comment-avatar

    Yes the British and Americans have the Immunity outside their Boarders when fighting Terrorists,but if they do it to their people they are arrested.The differents between them and Africans is that Africans want to kill their own people and get away with it,