Zimbabwe burns while the Father of the Nation goes shopping and partying
In 2000 Mugabe started with his program of genocide. He started with the few remaining white people who were farmers. Rhodesians, who had bought into the new country and were proudly Zimbabwean. They were producing the grain and the tobacco that had lead to Zimbabwe being able to export food to Sub Saharan Africa and sell to the international markets.
The Zimbabwean economy was thriving and the Zim dollar was stronger than the rand in the late 1980’s. Mugabe was ruling a country that could rightfully claim to be the “Breadbasket of Africa”.
The very people who were responsible for the “Breadbasket” became the innocent victims of genocide. Sure they received encouraging words from the British and the Americans when Mugabe started with land invasions in 2000. The jaw war continued well into 2001, while the Zim economy started faltering and the world was shocked at the violence with which old people were being evicted from their farms and some even murdered.
Then 9/11 happened. The airplanes being flown into skyscrapers will be the most striking images I will probably see in my lifetime. The Asian tsumani is the other major impression in my mind, of days that changed the world forever.
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(Above: The twin towers during the 9/11 attack)
In an instance Zimbabwe was off the radar. Mugabe had won the stand off. He had been telling Blair for how long now that Zimbabwe was no longer a colony and that Mugabe quite frankly couldn’t be bothered with anything that little Bush and Blair had to say.
The world’s media became filled with images of the Twin towers, Osama Bin Laden became the most wanted man in the world and America was at War.
The War on Terror had had little impact in Southern Africa. Corruption and scandal still emerged from South Africa on a continual basis and Mugabe, after sorting out the perennial enemy, the white man, started climbing into his own people, who happened to be called the MDC. This political party became the first real opposition to the Mugabe rule.
Mugabe proceeded to ruin Zimbabwe. Foreign currency had dried up and the economy was into tailspin. A famine resulted and the Mugabe regime began to use food as a political weapon. Supported by the Chinese and to a lesser extend by Libya, Mubage kept buying weapons and oil to survive. He knew that South Africa would never ditch him, so his supply of power and access to the sea were secure.
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(Above: Robert Mugabe when he came into power in 1980)
Thabo Mbeki seemed to be bound by unwritten rules when it came to dealing with Mugabe. Mugabe always seemed to have the upper hand and Mbeki retreated into the vague policy of “quiet diplomacy” and even blocked action against Zimbabwe by the United Nations when South Africa was sitting on the UN Security Council.
Mugabe’s nose was put out of joint by the Mandela persona and he felt that Mandela had usurped his rightful position of Father of the liberation movement in Africa. Mubage has survived five US presidents since winning the independence election in 1980.
Bob was the big daddy of African leaders and he let Thabo Mbeki know that. When the world sent Mbeki in as the front man to deal with Mubage, it was like sending a Grade One pupil to tell the Headmaster how to run the school.
Mugabe simply ignored Mbeki and continued as the weapon of mass destruction in Zimbabwe.
In 2008, when the world again had time to focus on Zimbabwe, the question of land distribution was fait accompli. Nobody even mentioned the dispossessed as a stolen election and a huge cholera outbreak caused more words to emanate from America and Britian.
America described Mugabe as being out of touch with reality and the British said that Mugabe was an obstacle and that a solution was not possible with him involved.
Ears pricked up in Southern Africa. Would Zimbabweans who were scattered around in surrounding countries like South Africa and Namibia be able to return home and rebuild their country? Was Mugabe eventually being given the boot? Even Bishop Desmond Tutu said that a military invasion must be considered in removing Mugabe.
And then timing played a part again. Israel invaded the Gaza strip and the same media that made such a huge noise that 1000 people had died of cholera are now deafening silent that nearly 2000 people are dead now and many more infected.
Are Israeli, American and Palestinian lives more important than Zimbabwean lives? Robert Mugabe seems to think so. He has killed more people through the cholera outbreak than have died on both sides in the Gaza War so far and yes, the eyes of the world are fixated on the Middle East and Zimbabwe has slipped off the radar yet again.
Mugabe has survived this type of thing before. 9/11 and the loss of American lives meant that white farmers in Africa were being robbed of their land didn’t have as much meaning anymore. This time he simply informed Bush and Blair that they mustn’t think Bob was stupid. The announcement was made that Bob knew the cholera outbreak was a biological warfare assault against Zimbabwe but that he was ready to repulse a military invasion.
Mugabe understands that Little Bush is no longer relevant and that Brown will be focused on the Middle East as black Africans die in their thousands from cholera.
Mugabe has just left Zimbabwe on a month long holiday to an undisclosed overseas destination. He has told the opposition he is tired of their games and will form a new government when he comes back. Timing has once again come to the rescue of Mugabe and he has seized the moment. Zimbabwe burns while the Father of the Nation goes shopping and partying around the world.