Get tough with Mugabe – Annan tells Africa

Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan has implored African leaders to get tough with President Robert Mugabe.
Describing Zimbabwe's worsening crisis as "intolerable and unsustainable", Annan said tyranny could not be excused simply because the perpetrator was black.

R>Giving the fifth annual Nelson Mandela lecture in South Africa at the weekend, Annan called on African leaders to uphold good governance and democracy in order to rebuild the world’s poorest continent.
“The ever downward spiral of Zimbabwe is both intolerable and unsustainable, we all have a stake in resolving the crisis,” said Annan, who cited Zimbabwe as an example of a crisis particularly crying out for resolute action by fellow African governments.
African leaders had to do more to uphold the rule of law, defend human rights and to stop the many conflicts on the continent, including northern Uganda and Darfur he said.
He criticised African leaders for always shielding each other from criticism even when guilty of bad governance and human rights abuses, calling the practice “a pernicious, self’destructive form of racism that unites citizens to rise up and expel tyrannical rulers who are white, but to excuse tyrannical rulers who are black.”
The crisis – which critics blame on repression and mismanagement by Mugabe ‘ took a turn for the worst after the Zimbabwean leader four weeks ago decreed that businesses should slash prices of all commodities by 50% in a desperate bid to control inflation.
The price cuts have led to shortages of basic goods, while economic experts warn price controls will force more companies to fold and could even trigger a total collapse of Zimbabwe’s weakened economy.
The regional initiative led by South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki to pluck Zimbabwe out of crisis is increasingly looking in danger of collapsing with Mugabe’s ruling Zanu (PF) party reportedly refusing to discuss a new constitution with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
Political analysts say a new and democratic constitution that will guarantee free and fair elections next year is crucial to any plan to pull Zimbabwe from the brink. ‘ ZimOnline

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