The Zimbabwe Situation- President Zuma on sanctions

The Zimbabwe situation makes some interesting reading. Jacob Zuma has come out in the open calling for the lifting of sanctions on Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF cronies. But he has never publicly called on Zanu PF to stop violence. This effectively means that he has taken sides.

Zimbabwe under Robert Mugabe is a rogue state. It is understandable if Zuma were to avoid publicly demanding the releasing of unjust state arrests because as much as they are unjust, telling another state to release arrested people is tantamount to interference. But how about Zanu PF supporters burning down churches and homes of perceived MDC supporters.

The violence committed by Zanu PF has been well documented. It is not a secret. We know Julius Malema when he visited Zimbabwe, he “advised” Zanu PF against violence so as to avoid the western powers justifying an invasion in Zimbabwe. But this is totally different to telling a brother not to do evil. And more directly South Africa as the regional beacon of human rights they were supposed to lead by example and tell Mugabe directly that South Africa will publicly call for an end to sanctions and at the same time publicly call for an end to violence by Zanu PF supporters.

We have soldiers who roam the country side campaigning for the Zanu PF position on the constitution and during election time. We have the police who will tell you “its political so its out of our hands” when violence is perpetrated by Zanu PF thugs on MDC but who will jump to arrest MDC supporters and officials for such trivial issues as singing anti-Mugabe songs at rallies. Surely there is a lot that Zuma can say in public to this effect, then even when he talks about sanctions on Mugabe and company he is bound to have some ears listening. This way he would have shown how neutral he is.

It is amazing how this is being overlooked by the media and political analysts when Zuma makes his public statements. Whereas it might be true that the EU imposed restrictions on Mugabe and others because of invasions onto white owned farms it is a fact also that MDC lost almost a thousand of its cadres to political murders during the same period.

So when the EU and its partners say sanctions are for persecutions of political opponents, they are not lying but stating a fact. Infact more MDC supporters were killed and displaced than white commercial farmers. This must be brought to president Zuma’s attention. So it is morally not right to call for an end to sanctions without addressing what brought them on in the first place.

We don’t know what Zuma tells Mugabe in private but by the same measure if he couldn’t condemn Zanu PF violence in public he was not suppose to condemn sanctions on Mugabe in public.

The MDC is running out of options. They have been singing praises on Zuma in the midst of all this. Although tactfully it would have made sense for the high ranking officials of the party to steer clear of this to avoid direct confrontation with Zuma but use low rank officials of the party who are not in government to draw the attention of the public to this anormally.

Zuma has distanced himself from statements by the ANC and Julius Malema that they support Zanu PF as a fellow liberation movement party. But his actions speak volumes to that effect.

Killing people for political beliefs is wrong. Zimbabweans must make very loud noises against this practice even to those who are apolitical. Zanu PF has this practice and it has now become part of its daily life. Zuma must be made aware of this. We know he is already aware of this but we must make it so public that he will be forced to rethink his position on Zimbabwe.

Rodrick Takawira is an ordinary citizen of Zimbabwe, He is not a politician just a citizen who wants a just society like any other citizen. Roderick can be contacted on rodricktakawira@hotmail.com.