Too soon to open the champagne

EDITOR - Not for the first time, Aziz Pahad's euphoric exuberance when praise-singing Thabo Mbeki, needs bringing back to reality.

When Pahad goes overboard over Mbeki’s successful progress in dealing with the Zimbabwe crisis, we prefer to wait and watch and hope for actual progress on the ground.

Of course, we are all glad – and full marks to Mbeki – for making a start in Zimbabwe’s power-sharing, and trying to produce an African-style, Kenya solution. But let’s not kid ourselves, it ain’t democracy. The people of Zimbabwe did not vote for a power-sharing government. They voted for a regime change to end their years of suffering, beating, killings, destruction of their homes and small businesses, and the sheer hunger they are now going through.

I’m not surprised that one of our daily papers had this headline: Nutty Bob’s bizarre speech stuns world. I listened in amazement to his embarrassing nonsense for half an hour on my car radio, and then switched off. Here was unadulterated, Idi-Amin-style rubbish, unworthy of the occasion.

His vicious attacks on the Americans and the British, now feeding millions of his starving people, were in very bad taste. Talk about biting the hand that feeds you! His attempt to ridicule his power-sharing partner, the statesmanlike Morgan Tsvangirai, was out of place and brought ridicule on himself.

Of course, missing from Mugabe’s raving – not one word of shame or admission that his mismanagement of the country these past 28 years, his propensity for violence (in which he once claimed to have a degree) and his endless printing of money that sent Zimbabwe down the tubes and into 50 million per cent inflation.

When the opposition Daily News reappears on the streets of Harare and Bulawayo, I’ll know that welcome change is happening, and I’ll bring out my bottle of champagne.


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