Sunday, June 29, 2008

Zimbabwe

Listen to John Sentamu and Desmond Tutu, voices of reason, pleading for non-recognition of Mugabe's government, downgrading of diplomatic representation, snapping of trade, business and air links and a general ratcheting up of pressure in all ways possible. One rumour that seems to be doing the rounds is that Mugabe is waiting to turn 85 (something that will happen in February 2009), so as to be immune from potential prosecution for crimes against humanity at the Hague.

I can't help thinking of Julius Nyerere pleading with African states in December 1978, as Idi Amin began massacring and expelling his own people, and shortly before Tanzania's eventual invasion of Uganda: '...there is a strange habit in Africa: an African leader, so long as he is an African, can kill Africans just as he pleases, and you cannot say anything. If Amin was white, we would have passed many resolutions against him. But he is black and blackness is a licence to kill Africans.' Senatmu makes very much the same sort of argument, reminding the world that if this were Ian Smith, there would have been no doubt about the need for punitive action. Mbeki is such a goddamn lame-duck loser, how can he not see what an insult this is to the legacy of African and Third World liberation movements?

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