I would like to draw attention to two articles in the Genocide Convention – Zimbabwe is a signatory to this Convention! My comments are in brackets.
There are two salient articles in the Convention:
Article II: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
Killing members of the group; (over 300 MDC members murdered since 1999)
causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (it is estimated that approx. 70% of Zimbabweans are acutely stressed)
Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (Gukuruhundi Genocide Matabeleland 1982 over 25,000 people brutally tortured and murdered; Operation Murambatsvina where over 700,000 peoples homes were raised to the ground; the mass evictions of farmers and their employees)
Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group. (forcing young people – some as young as 15 – into Militia camps for training in violence and torture).
Article III: The following acts shall be punishable:
Conspiracy to commit genocide; (Zanu PF Minister Didymus Mutasa’s infamous quote that “we would be better off without those 6 million people who don’t support the party”.
Direct and public incitement to commit genocide; (Pres Mugabe “go out and bash them” the oppostion, students, unions)
Attempt to commit genocide;
Complicity in genocide.
The following are acts of genocide when committed as part of a policy to destroy a group’s existence:
Killing members of the group includes direct killing and actions causing death.
Causing serious bodily or mental harm includes inflicting trauma on members of the group through widespread torture, rape, sexual violence, forced or coerced use of drugs, and mutilation.
Deliberately inflicting conditions of life calculated to destroy a group includes the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the group’s physical survival , such as clean water, food, clothing, shelter or medical services.
Deprivation of the means to sustain life can be imposed through confiscation of harvests, blockade of foodstuffs, detention in camps, forcible relocation or expulsion into deserts.
Prevention of births includes involuntary sterilization, forced abortion, prohibition of marriage, and long-term separation of men and women intended to prevent procreation.
Forcible transfer of children may be imposed by direct force or by through fear of violence, duress, detention, psychological oppression or other methods of coercion . The Convention on the Rights of the Child defines children as persons under the age of 14 years.
It is must be noted that only the “prevention of births…” second last bullet point has not applied in Zimbabwe. ALL THE OTHERS HAVE, AND ARE STILL TAKING PLACE.
So why may I ask, is SADC, especially South Africa, as well as the rest of the supposedly civilised world, standing back while this is taking place? Where is the black brother/sisterhood? Does it only apply President to President? Does it matter not that a conservatively estimated 3500 Zimbabweans are dying every week, HIV and starvation.
I sincerely hope that the current UN Secretary General will not have to make the same apology, to Zimbabweans, as his predecessor did over the Ruwanda Genocide. Perhaps the apology could be made now, as the Genocide in Zimbabwe is an ongoing exercise.