Today’s Washington Post Opinion page featured a piece appropriately named as it was penned by two physicians, In Zimbabwe, a Cancer Called Mugabe, which like many governments and other advocay groups called on the help to be made available to Zimbabweans. Unfortunately, they don’t go into spcifics about what kind of ‘help’ should be given other than that under the wide ‘humanitarian’ banner, nor do they even give any guidance to Barack Obama for what he should actually DO.
This seems to be the theme of most op-ed articles, opinion pieces, and major world instituions who have been calling for ‘change’. Everyone seems to agree that Mugabe must step down (1, 2, 3), but since Mugabe could obviously care little for world sanctions or condemnations (much less any empathy for the citizens of his country), how do these writes and politicians actually envision Mugabe being removed from power? Certainly no military action is considered by Western nations, and it is even more ridiculous to assume it will come from any African Union member at this point. Freezing of his monetary resources, along with the rest of his ‘cronies’ seems to have done little to result in change.
The world does not seem to recognize that they are dealing with a stubborn, old, and proud African man. Do leaders and journalists think that simply writing about his rule and his iron-fisted ways will bring about real change to the regime? If they do not, then why bring any attention to the situation at all? Is it a good topic to fill up the the ‘holier than thou’ part of the newspaper? Saying, look at us, we’re looking out for our fellow citizens of the world by writing about their blights, but don’t ask us to actually implement, much less create a feasible plan of action.
The Zimbabwean currency lost is value some time ago (I actually have Zim dollars that are expired), the opposition party is being ruthlessly beaten and jailed by the ruling party seemingly attempting a MLK-approach to Mugabe’s rule, and citizens of the neighboring countries have called on their governments to act, but have seen only half-hearted plans for a unitary government, a sole organizer for regional meetings on the topics and rebukes of ZANU-PF from no one of note other Botswana.
Though calls for Mugabe to step down have grown steadily from African leaders, no one seems to ever say ‘or else’. They all call on him to end the suffering of his people. HIS people? Does any one think that Mugabe actually sympathizes with the rural people of Zimbabwe? He cares about keeping his inner cirlce happy, and he has done that to such a degree that all he has to do is set them loose on the farms, and they’re perfectly content with his rule.
How does change come to Zimbabwe, real change, real development, and the return of simple government services? Next week, The African File will present a 5-piece plan of action to bring about actual change, that will not just yell ‘do something’, but will say ‘do this‘.