History will judge you harshly

How can you live with yourselves? You have failed, Thabo Mbeki, and failed spectacularly in your efforts to portray Uncle as a reasonable, moderate gentleman of the people.

Where are you now? What have your much-vaunted ‘mediation’ efforts brought to the people of Zimbabwe? We know how you revere Uncle Bob as a father figure, but know this – history will remember you not for your ‘efforts’, but for your silence in the face of impending doom on your doorstep. Thanks for nothing.

And you, SADC. Disaster always sounds a horn, and as we have seen time and time again, strength in the face of symptomatic decline can work to avert disaster. What do you think is happening now in Zimbabwe? The trumpets are blaring – the people are stunned, and the darkness is coming. Where are the pronouncements, the bold actions, the shows of strength and unity? I thought your allegiance was to the People of Zimbabwe, not a (now-opposition) revolutionary party.

Et tu, African Union? We shouldn’t be surprised, should we? Gaddafi is no role-model for democracy, neither are the other Leaders poster-boys for power-transference, are they?

But my message to you, Africa, is this; you know what’s happening, you know what’s coming, you know who’s to blame. Are you willing to let this happen? How many times shall we watch our fellow Africans killing each other without action, without intervention?

Or are you waiting for it to be over, so you can wring your hands and say how terrible it all was, hunt down exiled war criminals and murderers in your territories, and send people to Tribunals and The Hague and Truth and Reconciliation commisions?

More of the same, then.

71 Replies to “History will judge you harshly”

  1. I think it was Tendai Biti who accurately summed it up ‘Dont wait for bodies lying on the streets before you take any action’.

    The most telling story was one where the AU leaders said they couldnt get in touch with the Great Uncle by phone. An email? Snail mail? Quick hop onto a jet acquired from their ill-gotten gains? All those ambassadors you have stuck in swanky offices and who are constantly parading in front of the great uncle with their ‘credentials’?

    I dont know much about the workings of the corridors of power, but I know enough that if people want to make things happen, they happen. It’s just a question of will. Or lack thereof.

    All that said, the great uncle has everyone by the proverbials. Two weeks of waiting, increasing violence and more grandstanding, people are still locked inside their houses. People must feel that they still have something to lose or they would be on the streets by now. Only someone who feels that nothing has any value or things cant possibly get any worse takes to the street, otherwise you make supreme efforts to guard what little you have left. Even if its only your limbs.

  2. It’s all good to ask and infact expect these bodies/persons to intervene in the Zimbabwean crisis BUT what are people of Zimbabwe themselves doing instead of crying foul?Who will judge the Zimbabweans , wht will history say of them?. Africa let alone the world, will not rise to help Zimbabwe unless the Zimbabwean pple first arise and decide that they themselves will do something, anything. yes blood will be shed but I do not see any peaceful miracles waiting in the wings.
    The question is who is willing to die for Zimbabwe????

  3. That’s a pretty cavalier attitude to you’re taking with the precious lives of my countrymen. I hope that’s not how the rest of the world sees us. “yes blood will be shed” … listen, the idea here is for our neighbours and friends to find their consciences BEFORE said blood is spilt.

    The Zimbabwean People have acted, my friend. They have exercised the democratic will (and duty) in a peaceful and orderly manner. It appears now that that will has been subverted (note: appears).

    Any hint of unrest now would play into the hands of hard-liners, and we KNOW that.

  4. So you are saying the people of Zimbabwe are going to wait until someone finds it in their heart to take action for them for their voices to be heard?

  5. Oh and I know that every life is precious but lives were lost for you to have that right to vote, everything comes at a price i think

  6. No, that is spectacularly off the mark. What I’m saying is that bloodshed CAN be avoided if the regional (and some of the international) community stop actively collaborating with the status quo, and make it clear that enough is enough.

    You seem to be implying that international action and support is the last resort after the People take matters to the streets. I disagree.

    Intervention, especially by regional (and ideologically similar) countries should be pre-emptive action to help PREVENT the need for people to take to the strees / take up arms.

    Popular revolution is the last resort, and my problem is that too often (and almost always) have we as Africans watched conflicts born and blossom, instead of actually doing something to PREVENT conflict.

  7. cylla , Babe, Zimbabweans clearly do not want another Kenya on their turf. Zimbabweans may want to be remembered as being very peaceful, even in the face of the BS going on. I for one admire my old countrymen for their patience. They aren’t stupid nor weak. They just analysed all the evidence and currently do not see justification for violence, if that is what you were hoping for. It would be premature to start a Hoohah before they know where the sodding well stand. How about we wait patiently until someone officially claims victory. If they don’t like the cards they they are dealt then, THEN people can start looking for other means of getting what they want. I just hope this is all over and done with before Independence day coz frankly, nothing is a happening from my limited perspective and I am bored GODAMMIT. And I have a friggging reunion/fundraiser to go to. LOL. ๐Ÿ™‚

    JB: Any chance South African Cupid extends to the UK. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. No, I was trying to stress that I KNOW that every life is precious BUT people still die sometimes for the benefit of others. as you were suggesting that i was undervaluing the lives of “your countrymen”.

    You are assuming that I mean you should take to the streets with machetes and batton sticks no, I am not. I said, something, anything has to be done.
    The people of Zimbabwe certainly seem to be having a laissez-faire attitude towards these results. If it were not for the people wanting power or the BBC the world would soon forget that an election actually took place.
    My opinion, not yours and not the world’s is that the people of Zimbabwe should look to themselves first to sort this and ask for their results. I
    Why should the world or anybody else, other than the Zimbabwean people be asking for results that the Zimbabwean people are quite happy to wait an eternity for (from outside tht’s how it looks like)?

    Maybe there has been one peaceful march in Zimbabwe by the people about their right to their results? Maybe you KNOW cause I certainly do not.

    We all know Zimbabweans will not take up arms..we KNOW that 9 so let us not be dramatic) my point is why should anyone ask for your resullts, why?It’s your vote.

  9. I doubt there is such a thing as a ‘peaceful march’ in Zim. Probably planned as one and starts out as one but there is always one who changes that. Not worth risking trying if the Powlise overlooks the “peaceful” part of the endeavour, or some moron mistakenly drops and breaks a bottle. The shit will hit the fan before anyone can even utter a word. ๐Ÿ™‚ . No seriously, the risks out way the benefits by a mile. It only takes one twitchy Zimbo and all hell breaks loose. Better extremely safe than sorry. And I am sure there be people pushing for results to be published. We just ain’t hearing about it because as far as we know, it ain’t news worthy as no one has had a nosebleed doing it yet. Be patient, if not, do like I am doing, I pressed Ctrl+S and will check again in about a week, unless something major comes up. ๐Ÿ™‚

    BTW, for a smiley face, space then semi or full colon then a close (curved) braket then space.

  10. A peaceful march? Firstly, they can’t march wthout police permission. Which will be denied. Then they’ll march anyway.

    Then the Joint Operations Command will say the MDC is breaking the law, and a State of Emergency will be declared.

    Goodbye election results. Goodbye democracy. Goodbye peace.

    Hello Kenya.

    Uhm, no thanks.

  11. lets be honest, i dont think it has anything to do with patience or wanting peace. its got more with zimbo’s waiting for the next person to make a move and thats how it is and thats how its always gonna be (i hope i am wrong). WHatever happened to fighting for you feel and know is right. Coz the old man is fdoing exactly that by beating up and locking up people coz he thinks what he knows is right.
    But dont get me wrong if change is brought about by peace then i am all for it, but u gotta fight fire with fire!

  12. Maybe this is the kick start that we need:


    I hope that they are for real. Coz last time Mwanawasa tried anything (that titanic comment) the great uncle kicked his ass to the kerb. Praying that in the interim he has managed to sprout the beginnings of a backbone

  13. “Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence…”

    Martin Luther King, Jr

  14. Hear hear Tigz. Kloo, it feels good talking the revolutionary talk doesn’t it? Where do you live, by the way? Eh? Oh.

    Levy is the new breed, he doesn’t give a shit about the old guys (witness the Chiluba graft debacle). He may have the political will, but can he sway the SADC Old Boys’ Club to even consider reprimanding Uncle?

    Not so sure bout that.

  15. In the High Court this morning, George Chikumbirike, a lawyer for the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission, told judge Tendai Uchena: “It would be dangerous in my view to give an order because it might not be complied with … because of outside exigencies which the party (ZEC) will be unable to control.”

    IN ENGLISH:- ‘Judge, don’t bother to issue a court order to the ZEC, cos it’s not the ZEC in charge of the election results.’

    You couldn’t make it up. The ZEC’s lawyer begging the judge not to lay down the law, so the’re not seen to be breaking it?

  16. Um, lets not forget that MLK was assassinated. Non violence is good as a theory, recent history doesnt have too many examples of its success in overthrowing tyrannical/despotic regimes. Another proponent of the peace ideology Mahatma Gandhi was also gunned down, so while violence may beget violence, peacelovers seem to get their fair share of it in their direction. The real world is a violent place.

  17. It descends into farce, doesn’t it?

    A wedza man has filed an application at the High Court challenging the recent appointment of former education minister Cde Aeneas Chigwedere as Headman Mubaiwa.

    “At the time of such appointment, the president of Zimbabwe Cde Robert Mugabe had publicly dissolved the Cabinet to pave way for the harmonised elections which took place on March 29.

    “The first and the second respondents (Cde Chombo and Cde Sakabuya) had ceased to be office holders in the Ministry and had no locus standi (authority) to appoint anyone as headman for any area. It is on this basis that I seek the setting aside of the appointment,” said Mr Chadoka in his affidavit.


  18. I would be loathe to have Anus Chigwedere as my headman too. If anyone deserves the title of Chief Ass, it is him. Remember his asinine suggestion about the one uniform not to forget changing all the names of the schools to things like Murenga High. I mean, lets not worry about getting the teachers better pay or making sure that schools have enough resources, but lets fritter away taxpayers money and fret about cosmetic changes.

  19. Why is everyone fearing a Kenya situation in Zim? Kenyan violence was more along tribal than political lines.

    I’m thinking remember the days of U.Z student protests?? What calibre of university students are educating these days… LOL!

  20. UBA! Man those were the days. Remember drinking kachasu in Complex 4 with some of my friends. And of course the regular sojourns to ‘Bond’ for cheap licquor. Aaah, that golden age.

  21. Anyone who believed that he would go quietly hasnt been following events for the last 3 decades or so. Like I said earlier, a wounded animal is the most dangerous. If anyone thought that he was going to take this lying down, they would have to be blind or naive. There is life in the old dog yet. But someone needs to put this rabid dog down. Do a Kabila if need be.

  22. And just in case anyone wanted some more good news:

    Meanwhile, the state-run Herald newspaper reports that the ruling Zanu-PF has increased the number of constituency results it is contesting from 16 to 21.

  23. So much for the ‘urgent’ nature of the hearing. I guess it comes back to urgent vs important, coz I remember my parish priest once saying that just because something is urgent, doesnt make it important. It must be the thinking on the ground.

  24. Dude Joe,
    I’m really enjoying this blog, I’m going to forward this link to everyone i know!
    Keep it up, i love the rhetoric and language. Zimbabweans need a forum to air their views and examine the way forward before acting the like barbarians, Zimbabweans have always been and remain civil. This by no means is an advocacy for passive aggression, but has to be treaded carefully.
    Keep up the great writing mate, maybe you should write for CBC Canada, go check out their site at cbc.ca, they’re looking for people like you ma man!

  25. Cheers Rav. The MDC have stated they’d boycott any run-off, firstly because they (apparently) won the thing outright, and also to spare their people the obvious crackdown.

  26. If the Sarf Airfrican press is to be believed, the ANC has slowly started backing away from the Mbeki poisoned chalice that is quiet diplomacy. Lets see how this summit goes, it could be make or break. Still amazes me how the SADC ‘observers’ rubberstamped the election without waiting for the results, kinda like watching the kick off and not waiting the 90minutes and extra time.

  27. Well, you know what? Zimbabwe will go to the SADC summit on Saturday and say, well, we’re not delaying the results. ZEC is an independent body. If anyone is delaying release, it’s the MDC, who have launched a frivolous suit in the High Court, effectively gagging the ZEC until the court has made its ruling. Boo-yah!

    You’ve gotta love the shenanigans.

  28. As Mbeki once asked in parliament, every complains about client diplomacy, have you ever heard of loud diplomacy

  29. It was quoted that “Dictatorship is directly proportional to the people’s tolerence”. Meaning the average zimbo is docile all in the name of being educated, wake up my peeps.

  30. Innocent Chagonda, Morgan Tsvangirai’s lawyer, has been arrested this morning. For demanding the police release that helicopter whose SA/British/Tibetan/Martian pilot was earlier detained and released a few days ago.


  31. I still can’t believe it. People ask me every day how Zimbos can be so quiet when these HISTORICAL injustices are being carried out against them.

    I don’t know what to tell them now. I’m tired of defending you Joseph.

  32. It doesnt matter how poor or abject your life is, the fact is, you have one and you want to hold onto it for all its worth. That is why people dont fight. We all know how trigger happy those cops are. Who among us can honestly say that they want to be the ones in the firing line, when the politicians are safely ensconced in their offices jetting off to exotic places for more helpings of this quiet diplomacy stuff. If the politicians were willing to put their (inflation eroded) money where their mouths are, more people might be willing to follow. People are looking for leadership, not to be used as cannon fodder or target practice.

  33. People keep talking about putting pressure on Mugabe. What do they mean? What CAN they (African leaders that is) do? What kind of pressure we talking here that will actually bend him? I also fail to understand how the man can appear to have so much power in his hands. I mean look at how people are all looking to HIM to do allow the release of the results. And if the fossil does indeed have such power, why does he not just declare himself the winner now or a run off. He can win either way. What is to be gained by waiting so long? What, is he hoping that an entire globe is going to forget that there was an election result still waiting to be announced? Is there some piece of legislation or loophole I don’t know about that states that elections expire after a certain period of time if the results have not been announced? That the former president then remains by default for another term?


  34. Oh, and JB, cricket just got itself its own premier league in Inida. You picked a team yet? I quite like the sound of the Knight Riders. ๐Ÿ™‚ Also been wondering whether you still have the OK bonanza or horseracing thing they used to have where whenever you bought something you got a handfull of coupons or lucky draw entry cards. And FYI, the UK just cottoned on to the idea of a bubblefree fanta (still). And about time too!

  35. re: Oh, and JB, cricket ‘just’ got itself its own premier league in India. Really? Define ‘just’?

  36. Just as in I just seen it in the news. Bollywood stars been falling over themelves to buy the clubs (unless you are mocking me because it actuall is old news).

  37. About the Indian Premier League, yeah they just got it. And it’s gonna be crap, so I don’t really give a shit.

    So SADC are a bunch of little bitches. Am I surprised? Am I shocked that a bunch of illegitimate fools with liberation-war inferiority complexes failed to censure their elder statesman?

    “There’s no crisis in Zimbabwe”. Are you kidding me, Thabo Mbeki?

    Mugabe’s wives, as Margaret Dongo said.

  38. At least some wives are treated with respect, ‘varume’ vemu SADC mahure chete vanokwirwa neshure bedzi se dhongi because that is all they are good for. They start by making all the right noises, but then panic and crawl back into their former positions. Why must 12 million suffer for the sake of one ego? You have to wonder what is really going on behind those closed doors that has them all cowering into foetal positions sucking on their collective S(hitty) A(s) D(hodhi) C(hete) thumb.

  39. guys- now what, whats the latest joe?? this nonsense is now taking the wind outta my sails! and I’m overseas!! I feel for everyone in Zimz!

  40. JB, that’s your story and you are sticking to it, huh? For all we know, none of the people here actually exist and all these personages could just be a manifestation of your schizo personalities.

  41. You’re right, Elle, this could all be astroturf ๐Ÿ™‚

    Never mind the fact that I’m instructing Alias in all things H-town, including (but not limited to) visiting Tipperary’s on Five!

    Ravi, it’s getting interesting today. The High Court will instruct the results to be released. The ZEC will probably appeal to the Supreme Court questioning the authority of the Court to issues said order.

    That could drag on for at least another week.

    Meanwhile, the MDC while whine and order a strike for tomorrow, which may or may not succeed.

    OR the results could finally be announced.

  42. Astroturf! LOL. Is that stuff still getting watered regularly, or have they given it up for lost.

    Well I will bet my last yen on the last option not happening. After all, they will announce the results when they are ‘ready’ and after all this ain’t a crisis it’s a goddam electoral process (apologies to Fall Out Boy, manchild or whatever they are called).

  43. Why you`ll acting like you don`t know that Manutd beat those overpaid boozers from London?Uhh !!

  44. And Elle, you’re just jealousy. Want some love? A little lonely? Come home, and we can do the drinking and partying thing. Ko Ed where were you this weekend?

  45. Keepin it real lil bro. totally agree with you, and always will say “be careful”. Anyone who still thinks that things are not being “orchestrated” by “certain individuals” must be living under a rock somewhere. Being out here I can only pray for y’all and hope that a lightning bolt might hit a certain address in H-town and that will be that. Keep expressing, cause people are reading.

  46. Recent Headlines
    Sat 12/04/08: Thabo urges patients but say says no crisis
    Sun 13/04/08: SADC say no crisis but urges release of results
    Mon 14/04/08: High Court rejects opposition demands for poll results

    Damn! Who shall MDC turn to next. They only have the support of Gordon “tiny dot” Brown who cant do jack.

    …meanwhile the alleged Operation Mavhoterapapi appears to be gathering momentum, http://www.africasia.com/services/news/newsitem.php?area=africa&item=080414130821.m7c92vem.php
    so the the people MDC claim to represent are allegedly intimidated and assulted into submission

    Future Headlines??
    Some time next week: ZPF win 21 additional seats following ZEC recount of parliamentary votes
    Some time this year: Presidential results finally announced: Mugarby wins Landslide victory
    A day later: SADC congratulate Mugarby on re-election whilst western “tiny dots” condemn poll

    he knew what he was talkin about when he said รขโ‚ฌล“We knock each other out in the first round,รขโ‚ฌย

  47. *sigh*

    What to say? What to do? Nothing really. We just carry on, business unusual.

    Live our lives, no matter how tiny and insignificant. Scratch our little patch, trying to make ends meet. That’s the way of the world, I suppose.

    So be it.

  48. “The evils of government are directly proportional to the tolerance of the people.รขโ‚ฌย

  49. Hippo Heskey rides again! Woo hoo! In my contrariness, I have moved from Anyone But ManU(re) to Anyone But Chelsea. Sequentially, ABC is more logical than ABM anyway.

  50. Great post. But here’s the conundrum, some people just need a good smack. Martin Luther King was colossal, but you needed Malcolm X and the Black Panthers and some militant riot and burn tactics to get people moving.

    Peaceful means can only get you so far, clearly people voted in good faith. But…look where we are. I don’t have a solution – I only wish, were I in that position, that I would step up to the plate.

    Another thing…. it’s not so much the maniac on the throne you have to worry about but the people who keep in there. Those sycophants and dictators-in-waiting. He’s only one man, he’s not keeping the country in thrall all by himself.

    And as for Thabo “what crisis?” Mbeki and the rest of Africa’s “leaders”….words fail me.

  51. Food for thought. The thing about militancy, though – it’s a last resort, after all civil, peaceful and diplomatic methods or pressure have failed.

    That’s when a people can rise up, when all peaceful avenues have been exhausted. And we’re not even close.

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