Thursday, March 29, 2007


A summit of 14 southern African nations has agreed that South African President Thabo Mbeki should try to mediate in the political crisis in Zimbabwe.
Mr Mbeki will aim to formally arrange talks between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the opposition.
The meeting also called on the West to drop sanctions and appealed to Britain to "honour its commitments" to fund land reforms in its former colony.
The Tanzania summit came amid rising concern about the Zimbabwe crisis.
Political violence is increasing in the country, which is beset by unemployment and poverty, and suffers the world's highest inflation - 1,700% a year.
Back from brink
Diplomats said before the summit that the leaders would tell President Mugabe that he should not stand for re-election next year, but there has been no word on whether they did so during their closed-door meeting.
Zimbabwe is under assault... it is under assault from Western countries that have imposed illegal sanctions on it
George Charamba Presidential spokesman
The decision had been taken to promote dialogue, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete said at the end of the summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
"Of course the appeal to parties is to be co-operative and give this initiative a chance, also for the parties to exercise restraint and avoid anything that's going to inflame the situation," Mr Kikweti told a news conference.
The summit, which was attended by Mr Mbeki and Mr Mugabe, echoed the demands of the Zimbabwean government for all sanctions against the country to be lifted.
Britain and other Western countries have imposed targeted sanctions, including a travel ban on Mr Mugabe and his circle.
The meeting's outcome will probably disappoint the opposition, which had hoped for a much tougher line, says the BBC's Peter Greste in Dar es Salaam.
Their resolution also falls far short of the action urged by the US, which had called on the SADC summit to hold Mr Mugabe to account "for his misrule, not only over the last few weeks but over the last few years".
Amid the rising tension, Zimbabwean police on Wednesday cracked down further on the opposition.

Mugabe's hold over Africa
Media urges pressure

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said leader Morgan Tsvangirai was held for several hours after Wednesday's police raid on the party's headquarters in Harare.
Police denied he was among those arrested.
The policy-making body of Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF is due to meet on Friday to decide whether to postpone the elections and, if not, who its candidate will be.
Speaking to the BBC as the summit got under way, Mr Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, said the president would stay for as long as he had the popular vote.

The meeting between southern Africa's leaders is long overdue. Silent diplomacy has no future for Zimbabwe
Patrick Adar, Kampala
Send us your comments

The pressure for change, he said, was coming from the US and Europe, and Zimbabwe was hoping for the support of other African nations.
"Our expectations are very, very simple: to recognise that Zimbabwe is under assault... it is under assault from Western countries that have imposed illegal sanctions on it," Mr Charamba said.
Mr Mugabe, who has governed Zimbabwe since its independence in 1980, has blamed the opposition for the recent violence, accusing it of staging attacks.
He has also dismissed complaints from the West about human rights abuses and political oppression as the whining of old colonists.
The SADC summit also discussed the violence in DR Congo.



Blogger DEAN said...

Letter to the Black Knight

For some days now, I have had a burden on my heart. It would simply not go away. No matter what I did, the Zimbabwean crisis lingered in my thoughts. Yesterday, it even interrupted my discussions and my meditation on the Sabbath of the Lord. I knew I would not rest until I had penned my cogitations. Even now I wonder if I will find peace until the ‘troubled waters’ are stilled.

“Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God (Psalm 42:5,11; 43:5).”

See how your fame is turned into infamy, O Robert! How your confidence is turned from the Rock of ages unto the god of forces, O thou that callest thyself Gabriel! What a misnomer! Did you not say of Ian, “now the devil himself is defeated?” And now what have you become? Consider and judge how you have fared! Do two wrongs make a right? Did not the Almighty exalt you, while you were yet little in your own eyes? He adopted you and raised you up among the brethren. He appointed a people from afar to nurture you at Kutama Mission, when you were without a name and fatherless.

Gukurahundi was a fly in the ointment; Murambatsvina was your undoing and your latest evil “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” Like Saul, the son of Kish, so have you done: For he was taken from Benjamin, the least of the tribes and made captain over the people of Israel. Yet in his latter days he forgot his God and rebelled against his Maker. He defiled the sanctuary and slew the priests of the Most High (1 Samuel 22:21). He sought to destroy the shepherd boy, even David, Jehovah’s anointed. Because he disobeyed the Lord, and stiffened his neck against Samuel’s counsel, God also rejected him.

“For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because thou hast rejected the word of the LORD, he hath also rejected thee from being king. And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou. And also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent (1 Samuel 15:23,28,29).”

Behold, now you walk in the footsteps of Saul, ruthlessly putting down all opposition to your unrighteous deeds. Have you not lifted yourself up even against the “Prince of the host”? If Nebuchadnezzar (who reigned over the kings of the earth) was punished for his pride, how much more thou, O Robert? You replaced Colonialism with Marxism and Imperialism with Atheism. The fall of the Berlin wall was a sign unto you, but you refused to see. The collapse of the Soviet Union was the confirmation but you would not hearken.

“The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the LORD (Obadiah 3,4).”

Do not listen to those who lie to you, for in the end they will laugh at you. They will stand aloof and wag their heads and hiss their tongues at you. Yea, they will say, “is not this the man who thought himself invincible and untouchable?” Reflect on the events of the recent past and you will know that no man is beyond retribution. Evil is decreed against you, O son of Mashona! You are walking the green mile. You are treading on thin ice. You are trying to balance on a tight rope … not knowing that it is being loosened.

Search and see that your peers have passed from the stage. Those who propped you up are now retired. How you have become a soloist! You are performing a monologue. The spotlight is upon you. Your flaws are evident. Your voice is breaking. You have lost your charm. There is no man to cover you. Look up! For the curtain is coming down on you. Ba n’ganga won’t help you. Muti will fail you. You are caught in the past. Your time was up long ago. Handover the reigns to your grandchildren! See, they are about to strip you of the little honour that is left, O black Knight!

Even now it is not too late. There are two paths before you. Choose the path of peace! Walk away, while you can (at least the shame will be lessened). Learn from Kenneth (your comrade). Listen to Levy! He is right about his analogy. You are about to sink. You only have two options: to live in shame or die in disgrace. Behold, nature itself is against you. Last year’s (2006) tremors were a warning. Look, the earthquake is coming! Your own body despises you. Listen to the voice of reason! Wisdom is calling to you.

Mashona unite, Sindebele unite, Batonga unite, Africa unite! Listen to the words of Bob (the prophet of reggae). “Afrika unite!” This is a test not for SADC alone, but for all Africans. “It doesn’t matter where you come from. As long as you’re a black man…you’re an African.” The whole world is watching to see if democracy can work in Africa. What, is not today, Sunday March 25, 2007 a significant day? How can we properly celebrate the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slave trade, when we are not free from our self-styled shackles? Shall not the whole world cry out against us – hypocrites, hypocrites!

Thabo, please make us proud to be Africans again. Nelson, I excuse your silence. You have borne enough on your shoulders. Peace to you, true son of Africa! Remember the words of one of Africa’s fallen heroes, Dr Martin Luther King Jr: “When one suffers, we all suffer alike. That is the interrelated structure of reality.” May the dream come true! Let us all: Jew and Gentile, Catholic and Protestant, Red, Yellow, Black and White join hands together as brothers. Then can we all truly sing the words of the old Negro spiritual? “Free at last! Free at last! Thank God almighty, we are free at last!”

Nkosi Sikelela Afrika
Maluphakmis uphondo lwayo
Yizwa imithandazo yethu
Nkosi sikelela, Thina lusapho lwayo…

Yours Sincerely,

Dean Chilikwazi Mudenda

NB: I am not Zimbabwean and I don’t have to be. I am an African and proud to be so. But more importantly I am a human being; made in the image of God.

1:14 am  

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