The removal of the repressive regime in Zimbabwe has become a desperate humanitarian necessity.
Along with a lot of other people, I am worried that it’s almost a week since Jestina was forcibly disappeared. Two of her employees were also abducted recently. It appears the state is unashamedly bent on doing whatever it takes to eradicate all forms of dissent and criticism.
But my worry goes beyond the safety of Jestina and her coworkers. I used to get encouraged each time somebody ‘important’ made a statement on Zimbabwe or castigated Mugabe or called for some sort of action. All the while I believed this was culminating in a build up of some real decisive action. But the continuous all-talk-and no-action is causing me, and I’m sure many other people, the kind of fatigue that makes you want to turn off the TV whenever the news starts, or avoid reading the papers. Everyone seems to acknowledge there is a serious crisis in Zimbabwe but no one seems capable or willing to actually do something about it.
I have developed an acronym for all the politicians spewing the tired and useless rhetoric of castigating Mugabe. They are ATANAs: All Talk and No Action. It seems to have become the fashionable ‘in thing’ to be heard once in a while castigating Mugabe. You find even idiots like Julius Malema in some speech that has nothing to do with Zimbabwe calling for Mugabe to step down. I have been putting together quotes from various politicians worldwide and a distinct pattern emerged: they are all ATANAs who really can’t or won’t do anything except talk. It probably gives them some kind of political mileage to be seen to establish a certain position on Zimbabwean or African politics at large.
Interestingly some ATANAs have been more vocal than others and recent examples include the revered Archbishops Desmond Tutu and John Sentamu as well as President Raila Odinga calling for the forcible overthrow of Mugabe. I feel I must point out at this stage that former President Jimmy Carter in an interview with SW Radio admitted that the Elders couldn’t actually do anything for Zimbabwe except that they had the ability to shift the beam of world attention onto the beleaguered country. Go figure.
That I ambitiously agree with the idea of a forced removal is no secret but it is unfortunate that it might just remain that: an ambitious idea. As long as loud mouth politicians are putting more energy into talking; as long as the world willingly watches as the people of a nation slowly die, and as long as we value the cornerstones of the Wilsonian system of independent states i.e self- determination and sovereignty – people in Zimbabwe will continue to die miserable, unnecessary deaths.
Meanwhile, South Africa continues to play a half-hearted role of outwardly criticizing Mugabe, all the while being the super-power in Southern Africa that’s harboring him against real removal from power. If the cholera outbreak spreading across the Limpopo will not serve to make them take more decisive action or at least realize that this might implode and cause instability and suffering throughout the region, then only God knows what will.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner long ago once recognized a duty to intervene when human rights were abrogated. I agree and reckon that if earthlings are the ones who designed and put in place the concept of sovereignty, surely the same earthlings must by now realize the need to make provisions for when a regime forfeits that legitimacy through abuse of the human rights of innocent people.
Though an Iraq-style solution might not be favorable, it has become desperately necessary for the world to intervene somehow, whether they decide upon military invasion or something else. The fact is Zimbabweans need to be saved from this untouchable regime that will neither cooperate with the provisions of the GPA nor cease the culture of crushing dissent though the enforced disappearance of perceived enemies.
Won’t somebody say something and actually mean it for once because all the diplomatic gibberish is serving only to further torment an already disillusioned nation. It has clearly become desperately necessary that in order to salvage the little that remains of this economy and its people, the repressive regime needs to be removed and an interim government instated until fair elections can be held again.