The people matter more

zuma_mediatorWe applaud the SADC Troika and, in particular, the mediator President Jacob Zuma (pictured), for at last standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the struggling masses of Zimbabwe. Theories abound as to what eventually made them see the writing on the wall.

Maybe the events in North Africa could have made them realise that the winds of change are blowing and they have to stand on the right side of history.

Of course this will lead to tensions between heads of state and Mugabe will not go quietly – but the people matter more.

Already Mugabe and his praise singers have turned their venom on Zuma and the Troika. We all know that he cannot handle criticism. He took Zimbabwe out of the Commonwealth of nations simply because that body had dared to criticise him and his partys appalling human rights record.

Last year Mugabe pulled Zimbabwe out of the jurisdiction of the SADC Tribunal after that court passed judgement against his government in favour of some dispossessed commercial farmers.

In the past, SADC has bent over backwards and pussy-footed around Mugabe in a misguided effort to placate his ire and show African solidarity to the rest of the world. Mugabe has treated this as nothing more than his due and has continued to ride roughshod over their pathetic entreaties to implement the terms of the GPA. In doing so he has brought the entire region to the brink of disaster and hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans have been traumatised in the process.

We urge Zuma and the Troika to remain focussed and to ignore the ranting coming from Harare. They must not turn back now. They must stay the course. We fervently hope that they will be mature enough to see the vitriol coming from Zanu (PF) quarters is not shared by the majority of Zimbabweans. After all, Zanu (PF) today is a minority party and Zuma would do well to remember that.

For too long now Zanu (PF)s desire for self-preservation and enrichment of the few thousands at the feeding trough has been at variance with the national interest. And SADC has permitted this. They must now communicate to Mugabe in no uncertain terms that if he wants to remain part of the regional community there are certain rules and universal norms of behaviour to which he must confirm. These include being bound by the decisions of the regional body.

Post published in: Editor: Wilf Mbanga

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