Monday, December 8, 2008



By Jerry Okungu
Atlanta, Georgia
December 8, 2008

Outgoing US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has spoken. Kenya’s Prime Minister Raila Odinga along with Botswana Foreign Minister concur that Mugabe has reached his sell by date. Desmond Tutu has minced no words about Robert Mugabe while the South African Acting President is ready to send a team to assess the death toll already rising.

We are being told that thousands will starve or die of cholera unless the outside world ends the madness of Robert Mugabe. Yes, we are being told that Zimbabwe’s tragic implosion is gaining momentum. Media sources are quoting government sources that announced a national health emergency late last week that cholera epidemic was spreading rapidly, having so far has killed at least 500 people and infected more than 12,000.

The same source talked of the complete breakdown of water and sewage systems in Harare; that hospitals have virtually ceased to function.

Because of this, now the United Nations and aid groups say that hundreds of thousands of people are at immediate risk let alone the 5 million who will need international food aid by next month to avoid starvation. They say Zimbabwe's economy has ground to a halt with only 10% of the workforce on duty and that most schools are closed while commodity prices doubling every 24 hours.

Suddenly, alarm bells are ringing which should set us on a panic mode!
When I read Condoleezza Rice’s statement, I thought she was doing a commercial for the international humanitarian groups; the Lords of Poverty that have ravaged the continent in equal measure.

Suddenly, they now know that Zimbabwe has reached crisis levels and it is now politically correct to compare Mugabe with Idi Amin and Mobutu Sese Seko and that, now it is politically correct to remove the 84 year old author of this calamity!
Now they are blaming Thabo Mbeki for this mess while invoking the military intervention of Julius Nyerere when Amin had become a rabid dog in the region. They are unanimous that Robert Mugabe is a good candidate for the same remedy.

Why are they talking now when more Zimbabweans have lost their lives and are now in deeper misery? Where were they when Mugabe refused to vacate office after losing elections in March 2008? Where were these voices when Mugabe clobbered opposition supporters into exile to pave way for his win during rerun of the elections in June?
On another note; is this not the callousness that the international community showed to Rwanda when Tutsis were being massacre when Bill Clinton and Boutros Boutros Ghali decided to pull out UN troops from Rwanda at the height of the massacre!

Since the Rwanda Massacre, Africa has continued to witness death and mayhem in Somalia and Darfur. Despite several humanitarian reports that genocide was in progress in Darfur, the world- the so called free and civilized society has been reluctant to intervene militarily. A recent attempt to extradite El Bashir of Sudan to The Hague for crimes against humanity has been met with stiff opposition from the African Union. Can someone tell me the lives of Zimbabweans are more precious than Darfurians?

Since 1994, that geographical piece of the earth called Somalia has never known peace. Now its warlords have graduated into international pirates ruling the international waters of the Indian Ocean! Several half-hearted AU attempts to install an illegitimate government of Abdulahi Yusuf have come to nothing with only Ethiopian and Ugandan troops left there to die.

Yes, Botswana may be politically vocal about getting rid of Mugabe but unfortunately it has no military might to effect the required regime change. South Africa with the necessary resources to do so is a reluctant partner.

Kenya may feel strongly about Mugabe’s humanitarian catastrophe but it too like Botswana lacks the wherewith all to take a military action. After all, it has failed to decisively deal with Somali insurgents that have turned Northern Kenya into a play ground. Yes, let Kenya deal with a group of bandits called Somali pirates on its waters before it thinks of finding a solution to the people of Zimbabwe.

For the emerging radical African leaders yearning to bring change to the continent; they have to first get rid of the likes of Jakaya Kikwete at the helm of the African Union before they can effect meaningful changes. With Mugabe comrades in power; it will be a pipe dream making Africa a safer place to be in.