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Zimbabwe Human Rights

Zimbabwe: The killers don’t care, yet

Wolfgang H. Thome  Jun 26, 2008

KAMPALA, Uganda (eTN) - It now appears that the electoral commission of Zimbabwe has rejected the letter from the MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, in which he announced his retirement from the sham election. Regime leader Mugabe and his cronies insisted that the run off election goes ahead to give themselves the resemblance of legitimacy, should they as expected now win.

Meanwhile, the violence inflicted on the population seems to go on without any let up, creating a Stalinesque terror not seen in Africa since the Mengistu days in Ethiopia. All calls by neighboring states and African leaders from further away fell on deaf ears however, and the swiftly arranged summit in Swaziland of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) was shunned by one of the main players in the region, outgoing South African President Thabo Mbeki, whose role now appears ever more dubious and biased, unlike his African National Congress party which took a very strong line with the Zimbabwe regime.

Also commended here are other African leaders like Archbishop (rtd) Desmond Tutu, who called Mugabe a Frankenstein; President Kibaki of Kenya, who refused to hold the Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) summit (as incumbent chairman) in Harare; Presidents Wade of Senegal and Kagame of Rwanda; and even Zimbabwe’s erstwhile ally, Angola’s President Dos Santos has now made it clear that enough is enough. The biggest blow yet came from African liberation icon Nelson Mandela, who minced no words either when condemning Mugabe’s failures during his visit to Britain.

The Mugabe regime, however, does not seem bothered at all and the pin prick of banning Zimbabwe’s cricket team from playing in England or stripping Mugabe of his Honorary Knighthood in the UK will only make the killers bolder in their behavior.
What is now called for are definitive travel bans against all regime members, leading the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front activists, security personnel and all their families, to travel abroad, hold foreign bank accounts or study in countries opposed to Mugabe’s actions. Even banking transactions can be frozen, as was just recently enacted against the main Iranian commercial bank, to cut off Zimbabwe from access to the banking world and halt all efforts to transfer their ill gotten wealth, stolen from their own people to safer havens.

South Africa, for instance, could cut off electricity supplies and halt all fuel in transit to Zimbabwe, close her harbors for Zimbabwean imports and exports and other countries could deny the Zimbabwean state airline overflight rights. Should this not suffice, adjoining countries can even close their borders until the crisis comes to an end. With Zimbabwe’s neighbors in agreement that Mugabe has to go, the regime will not hold for long in the face of no power, no fuel and no other way to deal in commerce or trade, once roads, rail and air connections are cut.

As a final resort, the African Union and SADC can still resort to an armed peacekeeping mission to keep the killer militias in check until some resemblance of law and order has been restored to the savaged country.

Meanwhile, the international community is left with the hope that at last some decisive action will soon go underway, as neither talking nor Mbeki’s “quiet diplomacy” have shown any effect.

Zimbabwe: The killers don’t care, yet
Image via Sydney Morning Herald

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