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Monday, 23 June 2008

Zimbabwe is about Africa and African solutions

More Zapiro

Lester Holloway has a spot-on piece in today's Guardian:

Clegg's wrong on Zimbabwe
Calling for military action risks dividing Africa just as its leaders appear to be uniting against Mugabe

The west can spend its time comparing Mugabe to Hitler, but the real answer is African solutions to African problems", he argues.
African civil society is taking a stand and following their lead and supporting them is the most effective action. Clegg and many other 'useful idiots' haven't a clue. Zimbabwean civil society and South Africans are standing against those, like Mbeki, who are enabling Mugabe.

In a statement signed by a large group of African dignatories and published in many newspapers before Tsvangari's pullout, some hope that those African solutions will eventuate took form.
African civil society must make a clear stand. Our voice must be clear, precise and loud enough to be heard by our brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe.
  • We stand for free and democratic processes in Zimbabwe
  • We regret and condemn violence and intimidation
  • It is unacceptable to harass and detain presidential candidates.
We Africans are no longer willing to accept lower standards of governance than the rest of the world.

Great sacrifices were made during the liberation struggle. To live up to the aspirations of those who sacrificed, it is vital that nothing is done to deny the legitimate expression of the will of the people of Zimbabwe.

Whatever the outcome of the election, it will be vital for all Zimbabweans to come together in a spirit of reconciliation to secure Zimbabwe’s future. We further call upon African leaders at all levels -- pan-African, regional and national -- and their institutions to ensure the achievement of these objectives.
This is the list of signatories:
  • Abdusalami Alhaji Abubakar former president of Nigeria (1998-1999);
  • Kofi Annan former secretary general of the United Nations (1997-2007), Nobel Laureate and member of The Elders;
  • Professor Kwame Appiah, Laurence S Rockefeller University professor of Philosophy at Princeton University;
  • Boutros Boutros-Ghali former secretary-general of the UN (1992-1997);
  • Lakhdar Brahimi former UN special representative for Afghanistan, Haiti, Iraq and South Africa, member of The Elders;
  • Pierre Buyoya former president of Burundi (1987-1993, 1996-2003);
  • Joaquim Chissano former president of Mozambique (1986-2005);
  • John Githongo former permanent secretary for governance and ethics in Kenya;
  • Richard Goldstone former judge of the Constitutional Court of South Africa;
  • Mo Ibrahim founder of Celtel International and founder of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation;
  • Sam Jonah former chief executive of the Ashanti Goldfields Corporation;
  • Angelique Kidjo musician and Unicef goodwill ambassador;
  • Wangari Maathai founder of the Green Belt Movement and Nobel Laureate;
  • Graça Machel president of the Foundation for Community Development and member of The Elders;
  • Ketumile Masire former president of Botswana (1980-1998);
  • Moeletsi Mbeki deputy chair of the South African Institute of International Affairs;
  • Benjamin William Mkapa former president of Tanzania (1995-2005);
  • Festus Mogae former president of Botswana (1998-2008);
  • António Mascarenhas Monteiro former president of Cape Verde (1991-2001);
  • Elson Bakili Muluzi former president of Malawi (1994-2004);
  • Ali Hassan Mwinyi former president of Tanzania (1985-1995);
  • Kumi Naidoo secretary general of Civicus;
  • Babacar Ndiaye former president of the African Development Bank;
  • Youssou N’Dour Musician and Unicef goodwill ambassador;
  • Njongonkulu Ndungane former Archbishop of Cape Town;
  • Moustapha Niasse former prime minister of Senegal (1983, 2000-2001);
  • Loyiso Nongxa vice-chancellor and principal of the University of the Witwatersrand;
  • Karl Offmann former president of Mauritius (2002-2003);
  • Mamphela Ramphele former managing director of the World Bank and former vice-chancellor of the University of Cape Town;
  • Jerry John Rawlings former president of Ghana (1993-2001);
  • Johann Rupert chair of Remgro Limited;
  • Mohammed Sahnoun former UN/OAU special representative for the Great Lakes region of Africa;
  • Salim Ahmed Salim former prime minister of Tanzania (1994-1995) and former secretary general of the OAU (1989-2001);
  • John Sentamu Archbishop of York;
  • Nicéphore Dieudonné Soglo former president of Benin (1991-1996);
  • Miguel Trovoada former president of São Tomé and Príncipe (1991-2001);
  • Desmond Tutu laureate and chair of The Elders;
  • Cassam Uteem former president of Mauritius (1992-2002);
  • Zwelinzima Vavi general secretary of the Cosatu;
  • Joseph Sinde Warioba former prime minister of Tanzania (1985-1990);
  • William Kalema chair of the Uganda Investment Authority;
  • Kenneth David Kaunda former president of Zambia (1964-1991);
  • Thabo Cecil Makgoba Anglican Archbishop of Cape Town;
  • Domitien Ndayizeye former president of Burundi (2003-2005).
Who turns out for Mugabe's coronation will be a sure marker of whether Africa will work this out for themselves.


remains the best source for news. Today they report on legal opinion arguing that Zimbabwean electoral law means that Tsvangari should be confirmed as President.

also carries details of numerous ways in which you can practically help.

As well as this brilliant insider view (by 'Hope') of what Sunday's events meant.

Today is the day democracy died in Zimbabwe
It isn’t simply about voting: the fact is that the changes in Zimbabwe’s legislation which made it possible for the opposition movement to thwart Mugabe’s tried and trusted rigging tricks unfortunately also handed Mugabe and his thugs a roadmap to all his victims. By displaying the polling results on the walls outside the polling stations - the scores on the doors - the world and Zimbabwean citizens knew the result before it had been processed by Zanu PF’s creative number-crunching team, and made it difficult for him it to rig. But it also told Mugabe, right down to the wards WITHIN towns, who voted against him, and where they lived.

Those people who crave the images of bravery I mentioned before should hold this picture in their minds: a poor person standing in a polling station, casting a vote against a violent dictator, despite the fact they live in a rural area. There’s your man courageously facing a bullet with dignity!

On March 29th the gun was being held behind Mugabe’s back, ready to whip out and use against a civilian when he needed it to be used. The June 27th elections are different: this time the gun would have almost literally been held to civilian heads because those brave people were being asked to cast their votes before the hard cruel eyes of the Zanu PF loyalists that the government has recruited and flooded the polling stations with.


There is still a chance that violence might spiral out of control as brutalised people grow more desperate, but if it does happen, it happens under SADC’s watch. They can stop it and they can also restore democracy to Zimbabwe and give us a new lease of life; the question now is whether they have the political will and moral fibre to do so.

As for the rest of us, we will struggle on as we always have done.

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