I can understand why one would consider the Zimbabwean ordeal as an African pain. For the most part, that fits well in a hypocritical African politics. It fits well in a “don’t ask, don’t tell” African political climate. It perfectly fit in African politics where accountability is hardly exercised. May be because almost all of the African leaders are corrupt. As such, no African president can rebuke a fellow African president on the same ills he or she does.
Don’t get me wrong. I do believe in solidarity and all that jazz that come with it. We have the European Union for the same reason. At times it is necessary to join hands in order to accomplish a whole lot. Nevertheless, I believe loving someone does not equate to patting them on the back alone. True love comes with being tough and communicating hard and difficult truths to the one you love. That is because the line between loving and spoiling could be vague at times. Mugabe needs to hear the hard truth from his African leadership fraternity.
Thus far, none from this fraternity has been bold enough to face him.
While SADC leaders are showing plenty of seemingly moral support to Mugabe, they are just killing ordinary Zimbabweans. Most the SADC countries have embarked on economic reforms and heading in the right direction, while Zimbabwe is heading south. Most of these countries have a good relationship with EU and other developing countries, while “helping” Zimbabwe to destroy her relationship with the same countries. Isn’t that hypocrisy? Isn’t that pathetic?
May the cost of “freedom” from those awful Westerners is to sacrifice a few poor Zimbabweans here and there. Seriously, when folks are starving, do you really think that Mugabe is going without? (I know that question could be thrown back at me, whether the EU and all others who have imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe have thought about that. But that is beside the point).
I acknowledge the fact that Zimbabwe has the right to embark on any policies they seem fit, including the land redistribution policy. Nonetheless, any right should come with the accompanying obligations. As such, Mugabe and the Zimbabwean folks, and not the entire African continent, should bear weight to the consequences of their land policy.
I think that is fair. You bear the weight of your own sins. If you shoot a gun and it backfires, you should be in the line of harm’s way. Don’t call your neighbors to die for you.
There have been views that the land redistribution was just a political tool that Mugabe utilized to gain more political clout. I would not even doubt that, because according to the article published by the Tanzanian Daily News, and I will quote just a section of it, “ The EU sanctions involve a travel ban against top officials and the freezing of their assets in European banks, as well as a ban on arms sales”
Key sentence there? Freezing of top officials’ assets in European banks. Yeah, that is right, assets in European banks. You didn’t think those assets are furniture and some old clothes inherited from their grandparents, did you?
If you still think the land redistribution was meant to help the poor Zimbabweans, please raise your hands.
Seriously, I think this Zimbabwean thing is a litmus paper that has depicted the true colors of African leaders, which is mainly irresponsibility and hypocrisy. But that is not surprising, because that has been the political culture in Africa as long as I can remember.
Sometimes, honestly, I am glad that I don’t have to bribe anyone just to renew my driver’s license in the United States of America. That allows me (as artificial as it is) to escape the reality, which many of my brothers and sisters are facing in the African continent.
Enjoy your weekend!
Photo Credit: Don't recall the source