The collapse of Zimbabwe has exposed the Southern African Development Community’s ineffectiveness, Inkatha Freedom Party leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi said on Friday.
In his weekly newsletter, he questioned whether an “African solution” would solve the problems in that country.
“There is, in my book, no such thing as a ‘made in Africa’ solution.
Zimbabwe either holds ‘free and fair elections', like those recently held in America, or it does not.
“Zimbabwe either adheres to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (to which it is a signatory) or it does not.
It happens to do neither, and no amount of pontificating about ‘African solutions’ can disguise that fact.
“Her people are starving, the hyper-inflation is running sky high, there is a humanitarian disaster of biblical proportions emerging with the cholera outbreak, and the country is, for all intents and purposes, not being governed.
“It is time to call a spade a spade,” he said.
Noting there had been both SADC and African Union efforts to resolve the crisis in Zimbabwe, Buthelezi said these organisations had been established “to be the architecture of governance”.
“But they, in themselves, are not solutions -- as SADC has just so ignobly demonstrated.”
The disintegration of Zimbabwe had “miserably exposed” SADC’s ineffectiveness to intervene. Africans had fallen prey to the notion of relative standards.
“We are expected to hold ‘free and fair elections’ like everyone else, but there is an unspoken bargain that we will be given a bit of leeway. A ‘bit’ of voter fraud or a ‘few’ acts of intimidation -- even murder --will be overlooked as long as the election is held and the result expresses the will of the majority.
“As an African, who shares the joy of millions of people across the globe at the election of an African American as the leader of the free world, I believe it is time to say that we -- as Africans -- should be expected to adhere to the same standards as everyone else,” he said.
The highlights are mine.
This is the first time an African leader (he is the leader of the traditionalist Inkata Freedom Party and is a Zulu prince) has spoken out about the need for Africa to be judged by the same standards as everyone else. For far too long the undemocratic, barbarous behaviour of African 'leaders' has been excused by the liberal West. I believe that if each and every one of these despots had been taken to task for their behaviour, Africa would not be the basket case that it is.
Mugabe should have been captured and tried in the Hague 25 odd years ago when he ordered the murder of the 20 000 or so Ndebele soon after having had power handed to him by the British Government.