Zimbabwe: The Showdown Has Begun

It is not even two hours after I told you that Zimbabwe might be an option for investment from a property perspective, should Tsvangirai manage to oust the despotic, murdering Mugabe regime. Now it appears that this particular prospect may well be a pipe dream.

I suppose that only the naive could believe that the Zimbabwean president would heed the outcome of any election that he could not substantially rig in his favour. From news articles released (read: Mugabe begins Zim crackdown at http://www.news24.com/News24/Africa/Zimbabwe/0,,2-11-1662_2299749,00.html), it appears that this time is not an exception:

1) Tsvangirai’s proposed meeting with the current regime generals to reassure them of his honourable intentions under an MDC rule, were cancelled by the generals after being ordered to do so by Mugabe.
2) Mugabe sent his terror-inspiring Special Forces (CIO) and Police to raid the Meikles Hotel in Harare where the MDC had their temporary election offices. According to MDC officials, Tsvangirai is safe.
3) Mugabe declared that a presidential run-off ballot will, if necessary, take place within 90, instead of within the constitutional 21 days. Reliable sources on the ground seem to think that this delay will enable Mugabe to regroup his militia.
4) Foreign and local Journalists were arrested on pseudo-charges of practicing journalism sans licenses.

Where is this going to? For a great many years the rest of the world (and that includes South Africa), has stood by passively, watching how Zimbabwean citizens were being left to starve, and wilfully murdered by somebody who makes even some of the most notorious tyrannical rulers of the past, seem like saints. South Africa, I am afraid, bears the brunt of the guilt. Our president, Thabo Mbeki, has welcomed this political murderer and criminal into our country as a guest on many occasions, instead of censuring his actions as he should have.

The average South African has felt the impact of the influx of Zimbabweans into our country. There are not only a great many of these who come in seeking employment at the expense of the local population, but also a large amount of absconded Zimbabwean militia who come here to rob, rape and murder – something that is felt by everybody, from paupers to princes.

Perhaps, President Mbeki, you will come to your senses now and take the responsibility demanded from the leader of the strongest Southern African country.

Perhaps even, some other world powers will take pity on the people of Zimbabwe and step in to lend the support they so desperately need.

But then, perhaps not.

Like many other South Africans, my heart, my sympathy and my prayers are with you, the Zimbabwean people, right now.

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Bullard for President

I don’t buy the Sunday Times. For one, 95% of it is a waste of good trees; secondly, the bulk of the stories it contains, only serve to aggravate my usual Sunday Blues; and finally, the worthwhile bits and pieces in the Sunday Times offered free of charge by your local Wimpy or Greenfields, can quite easily be read in between ordering and receiving your favourite high-cholesterol breakfast.I am a habitual Sunday-breakfast-somewhere person. So, true to form, I headed for Greenfields and hauled the Sunday Times from the haphazardly stacked newspaper stand. The first item to draw my eye happened to be David Bullard’s Out to Lunch column. The heading was: “You will find a really low road at the end of this rainbow.”With my interest sufficiently piqued, I read the entire article. It was somewhat ascetic, but delightfully so. You can read the Out to Lunch article by David Bullard here: http://www.thetimes.co.za/Columnists/Article.aspx?id=735313

Yes, once upon a time in Never-Never-Land, I too was a starry eyed idealist, taken in by the gift of the gab of our venerated ANC politicians. And yes, reptiles happen to be an apt description – it takes cold-bloodedness to sit, with arms crossed, watching our primary healthcare coming to its knees, the school system failing, the poor becoming increasingly poorer and denying the majority of the HIV-positive anti-retroviral treatment. (No, oh portly one, beetroot and garlic don’t do the same job). The only difference between said politicians and reptiles is that reptiles have backbones. Considering the inability of the powers that be to take a stand – their attitude to Mugabe’s genocidal, despotic methods of governing Zimbabwe, immediately comes to mind – probably makes them the only invertebrate reptile species on the planet.

I cannot help but wonder, whether all of this has something to do with a total and utter lack of responsibility and a complete inability to take ownership of issues. Blame the colonialists, blame the apartheid regime and now, blame the US economy’s influenza. In fact, while you are at it, blame everyone else. In the current regime the proverbial buck is passed on and on and on and …. There is no “The Buck Stops Here” sign on our esteemed president’s desk, I am sure.

Then, what are we South Africans to do? We could up and leave like many others, or we could spend the next 40 minus 14 years struggling for positive change. The choice is personal. I, for one, am going to stick around for a while longer. The stars have not completely faded from my eyes – even though they are much, much dimmer than before.

Perhaps – by some miracle – the ANC politicians will heed David Bullard’s words of wisdom to stop treating the beloved country as their personal fiefdoms. Perhaps, I might add, the ANC government will come to realize that they are not – and I repeat NOT – a liberation movement any longer. They are the government now, and the only things they would do well to liberate themselves from, are the claws of greed and the blinkers on their eyes.