Shame on You!
Just recently some countries tried to take the issue of the Burmese
the UN Security Council. The demands made by the resolution were not
outrageous or unreasonable - just release political prisoners and
normal political activity and restore some form of democracy.
In the subsequent debate and vote both China and Russia spoke and voted
against the resolution - effectively killing it and once again
the efforts of the global community to try and restore some form of
and responsible government to the Burmese people. Both Russia and China
States that claim on paper that they are in favor of human and
rights. But when it comes to these as against economic interests and
political influence, they take second place. Self-interest comes first.
should be ashamed of themselves.
Then the President of South Africa, writing in his weekly column in the
magazine ANC Today, drew attention to the crisis in Somalia and called
African solidarity with the people of Somalia in their struggle to find
themselves and a way forward. In respect to the crisis in Zimbabwe, a
neighbor and very much his responsibility in geopolitical and
terms, he shows no such concern or activity. His silence on the ongoing
human and political crisis here is deafening.
It is not as if China, Russia and South Africa were defending a
state or leadership and expressing solidarity with the people of these
countries, the leadership of Burma and Zimbabwe are corrupt military
who are simply bent on enriching themselves, their cronies and their
families. They are violating every tenet of international human and
political rights and do not allow freedom of expression or assembly in
The heirs of Mau claim to have taken on his mantle of people rights and
pursuit of a more equitable and just world but in fact, they are now
exhibiting all the traits of a neo colonial power that does not give a
about the rights of those who live under repressive regimes today. They
pursue self-interest at the expense of principle.
The leadership of the ANC similarly has lost sight of the fact that in
struggle for freedom, justice and democracy in South Africa, they were
supported by the entire western world in a solidarity that has not been
often seen in world history. They now state that we in Zimbabwe must
change to our circumstances without international or regional help.
were in the front line, Zimbabwe made great sacrifices for the
of the revolutionary changes in South Africa after 1994. It was the
efforts of the Front Line States and the international community that
eventually brought freedom to South Africa and Mr. Mbeki to the
The situation here in Zimbabwe continues to deteriorate rapidly. We are
clearly now in the grip of a severe drought and crop prospects are
daily. The government has lost its grip on the fiscal and monetary
with inflation spiraling out of control. Far from seeking to improve
image in the international community they have intensified the illegal
assumption of control over private land - even land protected by
investment guarantee agreements. They are threatening to resume the
and destruction of homes in poor areas that do not have planning
and have intensified efforts to repress the freedoms of the community
assisted by the military of both China and Pakistan who have sent
to train the local militia and army in crowd control and 'urban
In the sphere of press freedom they are confiscating small radios in
areas that have the capacity to tune into foreign broadcasts. They are
jamming SW Radio and the Voice of America (Studio 7) using Chinese
and expertise, they are threatening the continued publication of the
two remaining independent newspapers following the cancellation of the
citizenship of their publisher who was born in Zimbabwe.
In addition to this, the deliberate destruction of the main pillars of
economy in the form of a fresh assault on investor rights is underway.
miners are being forced to either cede control to the State or to close
down, foreign owned firms across the board are now threatened with an
exercise to seize 51 per cent of their equity and control of
the informal sector the State maintains a constant programme of
and this has been extended to small-scale miners.
As a consequence, young people, especially the educated and upwardly
are fleeing the country for any destination that will have them. Last
MDC leadership in Beitbridge reported that nearly 100 people drowned in
Limpopo trying to reach South Africa without documents. Those
people to the border and helping them enter South Africa illegally,
record numbers in the past month. South Africa deports as many as they
identify, but they are losing this battle by a ratio of 3 to 1. Every
arrival exacerbates the threat of violence and crime in South Africa,
already the violent crime capital of the world.
So where do we go from here? Last week we resolved, together with our
society and Church friends to maintain our campaign of civil
This takes many forms and is being co-ordinated nation wide. In
resolved to reject the proposed extension of the presidency of Robert
to 2010 and beyond. The leadership of the MDC called for elections to
held in March 2008 as scheduled and for these to be conducted under a
constitution drafted with the support of the whole country and not just
small, kleptocratic Zanu PF minority.
There are signs that the SADC leadership is also concerned about these
matters. They want a quick solution to the Zimbabwe crisis as we are
back progress in a region that is becoming increasingly dynamic and
strongly. Just this week it was announced that Southern Africa had
numbers of tourist arrivals last year - the best performance
Zimbabwe remains a painful exception. Unfortunately, Mbeki remains the
to any progress and there are no signs of any change of heart or
As for our colleagues and comrades in this struggle in Burma - all we
say is hold your heads up high, we will win eventually and to Aung San
Kyi, we admire your courage and your sacrifice for your people. You are
alone - all freedom loving people stand with you in solidarity.
Bulawayo, 17th January 2007