Thursday, April 17, 2008

Just go, Mugabe

For all his macho posturing, the dictator is acting like a juvenile keeping his school marks from his parents

It's now three weeks since the Zimbabwean elections sanctioned Robert Mugabe's defeat. If it wasn't that thousands of lives were at stake, you'd be excused for thinking that the 81-year-old bully (lest we forget, one the most sanguinary dictators alive) is acting like an inept juvenile keeping his school marks from his parents. "Got your exam results yet?" mum and dad probe, while the kiddo, snot hanging from his nose, clings on to his increasingly pathetic "no, not yet". But even a thicko like him must be aware that the clock's ticking and failure's looming. How long Mugabe can go on hiding the elections results is everybody's guess.

But the worst aspect of Mugabe's desperate grip on power isn’t simply "the West", like cliché-lovers are happy to suggest. Of course, the priests of "Exported Democracy™" are notable by their absence, and the next time Busho and his faith-loving lackey Tonino Blair go round talking of "moral imperatives" they should be kicked in the nuts. However, this time the biggest culprits are African countries (read: the members of the Southern Africa Development Community). South Africa, in particular, with its enormous influence over neighbouring Zimbabwe, has so far refused to issue any condemnation of Mugabe's regime of torture and violence.

The best President Thabo Mbeki managed to produce came today, "it is our view all the participants should come together, sort out all the causes of the delay, and then release the results as a matter of urgency". I bet he wouldn’t have liked that coming from another head of state during the apartheid years.

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