SADC must not coddle Robert Mugabe again

It is over a year since disputed elections were held in Zimbabwe under a climate of fear, killings, kidnapping and all sorts of evil against opposition supporters.

The second round of the elections became a no-contest after the leader of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC) quit the race.  

It was evident that had he stayed in the race, and subsequently won the elections, more lives would have been lost or probably there was going to be a civil war – something that is not easy to stop. He was labelled a coward by some when he chose to quit.

The then mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis, former South African president, Thabo Mbeki ,however, seemed not bothered by the killings of innocent people whose main crime was believing in democracy. He hugged and shared jokes with President Robert Mugabe as his thugs continued killing people.

Even after MDC had given in, despite being voted by the majority of the people in the first round, Mugabe continued behaving like a spoiled baby demanding to be given all powers. After the two leaders agreed to sign a power-sharing deal, the country is now recovering slowly from a record economic meltdown.

Despite MDC’s many subsequent compromises after signing the power-sharing agreement, the old despot and his thugs are still demanding more. What exactly do these people want?

It is time President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and SADC told Mugabe that enough is enough. He should just step down and enjoy his few remaining days asking for forgiveness from Zimbabweans and humanity. He should go out and leave young Zimbabweans to reconcile and move forward.

Mugabe should know that he does not own Zimbabwe and the only people who can effectively deliver this message are his fellow heads of state.

The recent reports that he still wants to call the shots are disturbing. If SADC still wants to be recognised as an organisation of good reputation, the leaders must take firm action against Mugabe.

Zuma must do more than what his predecessor did and maybe invite Mugabe to live in exile in South Africa. That would not be a bad deal anyway. The old man should go and spend his last days peacefully and maybe some people will forgive him in retirement. He has had his time in power with very disastrous results.