The gravy train stops now

We agree with Botswana's president, Ian Khama, who said in a rare interview this week that allowing leaders to keep power through negotiated deals after fraud-ridden elections, as in Kenya last year and now in Zimbabwe, has set a terrible precedent for Africa.

The GNU deal is wrong.  It favours Mugabe and he lost the elections. But the MDC has decided to go ahead with it.  We will reserve judgement. We want to see results. Only then can we decide whether or not to support it.

Under the terms of the deal, the winner of the March general and presidential elections, Morgan Tsvangirai, faces the almost impossible task of trying to share control of a corrupt and partisan police force and reviving Zimbabwe's moribund economy and rescuing an increasingly famished, sick and impoverished population.

Robert Mugabe's track record regarding integrity and sharing power is not impressive. Even as the power-sharing talks were taking place, his thugs were busy abducting abducted dozens more opposition supporters, many of whom are still in custody, despite having been tortured and being in desperate need of proper medical attention.

For this reason we urge the international community not to relax its pressure on the Harare regime for one instant, until we see real progress towards real power sharing and real democracy.

The list of required reforms is endless. Needless to say the removal of draconian anti-press freedom legislation and the punitive 70% duty on The Zimbabwean and The Zimbabwean on Sunday is top of our list.

But no less important are the following:
- the release of all political prisoners;
- the systematic removal of all un-just laws and decrees;
- the end of partisan policing;
- a return to an independent judiciary and the rule of law
- the end to hate speech and state propaganda in the mass media;
- the opening up of the airwaves to independent operators;
- an end to state-sanctioned looting of national resources and parastatals.

That is just for starters.

Until meaningful action towards the meeting of these basic requirements can be seen to begin, the targeted measures against Mugabe and his hierarchy must remain firmly in place.

In addition, the international community must make every effort to ensure that any assistance given to Zimbabwe to ease the humanitarian crisis must be carefully channelled so as not to end up in the pockets of Zanu (PF) fat cats. The gravy train stops now.


Friends, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. According to the Lord’s own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore encourage each other with these words. – 1 Thessalonians 4; 13-18

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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