Monday, March 31, 2008

Zimbabwe: China and South Africa are the Keys

Whatever one's politics I think most of us will share the same fears about what is about to happen in Zimbabwe. It is almost inconceivable that Robert Mugabe will retire gracefully and release the levers of power which he has held for more than a quarter of a century. But the truth is that it matters not a jot what we in this country think. It will make no difference to the situation. The only two countries which can really affect the long term future of Zimbabwe are China and South Africa.

Of course Britain, the USA, Europe and every one else should make their views known if indeed the election results are shown to have been rigged, but they all need to put pressure on South Africa and China to tell Mugabe that his time is up. Whatever diplomatic pressure that can be applied, should be applied. China has been a strong supporter of Mugabe for decades and Zimbabwe has in some ways been a Chinese client state. South Africa, also, has a particularly shameful role in ignoring the plight of the people of one of its neighbours, and shoring up the Mugabe regime. It's time that stopped
.

20 comments:

lettersfromatory said...

I'm extremely worried that Mugabe will win or lose by a small margin, which will undoubtedly be followed by accusations of lies, bribery, corruption and rigging - leaving the international community powerless.

Anonymous said...

This is all the product long term of Mrs Thatcher's naive and damaging foreign policy which paved the way for Mugabe's disasterous rule. Add to that Hong Kong and the debacle of allowing the Falklands to be invaded and various capitulations to the Common Market (as then was) and in due course I believe history's verdict on Thatcher will not be kind.

simon said...

Why all this 'hand-wrenching' over failed African states? I could not care less. Are 'black' populated countries forever to be 'primitive', 'third world', and frankly an embarrasment to 'democracy'. I can't think of ONE African nation that is a success on it's OWN merits (South Africa does not count). I hate to think how much money the West has squandered on the bloody place, just to make us feel 'better about ourselves' over slavery (which some African states were COMPLICIT in-and was over about 100+ years ago...)& buying Fairtrade will do f'k all regarding the situation there as well. The West should withdraw from the continent-aid wise- and let the African continent on it's own get out of it's current predicament. Just watched one of those bloody 'give 20p a day- clean water in Africa' ad's. WTF have they got their own 'governments' for, if it's not to provide the basics for their own people! If the West continues to pat black man on the head and hand over money this will go on and on and on.....

Broon's Talking Bawgie said...

If the locals are stupid and passive enough to put up with Mugabe, then they are getting the government they deserve. I couldn't care less about Zimbabwe.

neil craig said...

The lights are going out, literally & figuratively in South Africa too:

http://groups.google.com/group/nz.general/browse_thread/thread/ce02ea0c093f313c

We should just be glad it isn't our problem.

I do not know what the answer is but I doubt if it is anything as simple as putting in a new leader.

Brummie Tosser said...

China or South Africa to step in? Put the interests of Zim's benighted populace over their own? Don't hold your breath Iain.

dick emery said...

Good to see you are now an expert on absolutely everything.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, slavery was not "over about 100 years ago". It is a tragic fact that it is still practised widely, indeed thrives, in some arab-muslim Saharan states, such as Mauritania, Niger and Sudan.

strapworld said...

Professor James Lovelock in a remarkable interview with Sarah Sands in the Daily Mail (March 22nd) states:-

"By 2040, China will be uninhabitable. Because of their high levels of industrial activity China will be the first to suffer with the death of all plant life. So I think the Chinese will go to Africa. They are already there, preparing a new continent-the Chinese industrialists who claim to be out there mining minerals are just there on the pretext of preparing for the big move. This is not science fiction. Mr Putin will colonise Siberia. Those who will have a rough time are those in the Indian sub continent. You dont need much of a sea level rise to wipe Bangladesh off the face of the Earth!"

So, Iain, Rhodesia yesterday, Zimbabwe today. China Tomorrow!!

What will happen to the present occupiers of the new china? They will all move North.

strapworld said...

Let us not forget that many of our own countrymen and women were snatched from their homes in Cornwall and Devon by African Slavemasters! It is a part of our history that the guardianistas wish to conveniently forget. They like us all to believe it is the white man's disease. When the blame is as much on the black people as whites. Yet we should be proud that it was a Conservative that led the fight to ban the slavetrade......or was it John Prescott?

Trumpeter Lanfried said...

To me, the extraordinary thing is that, even on the opposition figures, some 37% are voting for Mugabe. FFS! One in three of them are still voting for the man who has destroyed the currency, destroyed agriculture and brought their country to the brink of catastrophe. I despair.

As for the neighbouring African countries; they love and respect him; standing ovations for a murdering, kleptocratic dictator.

I begin to agree with Simon @ 10.02 AM. Let them get on with it. No longer our problem.

Gege said...

I'm pleased that you all have pointed out that slavery was not a vlack versus white issue. Both sides share the blame.

The same thinking could be applied to africa. yes, her leaders are corrupt. But you have to accept that foreign powers have been complicit in supporting these despots.

The ordinary people of africa do not have the guns to fight leaders who are propped up by foreign powers.

Anonymous said...

At least Mugabe is up front about his hatred of the UK and the developed world. Further north in the continent senior politicans have been screwing hundreds of millions of pounds out of the UK and paying it directly into their own Swiss bank accounts without anyone batting an eyelid.

Not particularly surprising, perhaps, but what makes this worse - much worse - are the policies of our own dear DFID which introduced something called 'general budget support' a few years ago. Briefly, this involves putting funds directly into the coffers of the country receiving aid rather than spending it on specific projects.

In Tanzania, vast amounts of donor funds which were handed over by developed countries (DFID persuaded many other countries to go along with this) have been stolen from the government's bank. Google "Bank of Tanzania" "scandal" and "budget support" for more.

Budget support is seen by many as way of ensuring that the UK meets is Gleneagles targets re. the proportion of GDP it gives to Africa. It has very little to do with how well that money is spent.

This is all way too technical for anyone to get very worked up about, but maybe Cameron and co should start asking some very pointed questions.

yellerKat said...

Britain isn't entirely impotent in this matter: what about rescinding the 1994 Major-granted knighthood? Then the UK can call for everybody else to do something while it does nothing.

londonerr said...

Sorry Iain, but pigs will fly before SA does anything to relieve the Zim situation.

Both the ANC and ZANU PF are unreformed liberation struggle organisations relying on patronage and blind loyalty. One's position held during the years of struggle rates higher than any notion of competence for government. Liberation organisations are part of a brotherhood of struggle and victimhoood, and far above criticism from within, and outside.

Given these values, asking SA to hold Zim to account – as you do – is unrealistic, it's just not part of their makeup and could be seen as imposing western imperialist values on the 'strugglehood'.

Get with the project comrade Iain ; )

Praguetory said...

Assassination works.

wrinkled weasel said...

Brown the bogey man says

""It is vital that this election should chart a course for Zimbabwe chosen by the people of Zimbabwe.""

Yeah, Brown, like you let us choose whether we want the EU treaty or even the fact that you have not been chosen to lead this country by the people of the United Kingdom?

Your hypocracy is stunning, Mr Eats hisBogies.

Anonymous said...

Actually Simon there is ONE sub-Saharan African country that is prosperous and ruled well with an independent judiciary, press, Free Market Capitalist economic system and Democratic government. Its called Botswana.

There is a high rate of HIV/AIDS there unfortunately but thats amongst migrant workers from neighbouring countries that have come to work in Botswana because of its wealth and stability.

But otherwise Simon is correct. Its high time ALL aid to sub-Saharan Africa was stopped. Its just money down the drain. If they dont want to embrace democracy and Free market Capitalism then so be it. Dont come begging the West for any help though!

Yak40 said...

Zimbabwe has gone to hell with Mugabe's "land reforms", to be followed by SA (the rot's already started), Namibia then Botswana.

As far as blame for Zim, it was the UK and that damn Jimmy Carter who forced Mugabe upon Zimbabwe as the "acceptable" candidate.

Anonymous said...

,strapworld said...

"Let us not forget that many of our own countrymen and women were snatched from their homes in Cornwall and Devon by African Slavemasters!"

The Arab slaver raiders went as far north as the West coast of Scotland. These days they only reach as far as beaches in the south of France, snatching young blonde chicks.

Anonymous 8:32 PM said...

"Its high time ALL aid to sub-Saharan Africa was stopped."

Quite right. That is the real solution to most of Africa's problems. Plus, it puts unemployable lefty 'aid' 'workers' out of a job - something that all decent people would applaud.