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Author Topic: Does Zimbabwe matter to Africa?  (Read 10903 times)
Junior Member
Posts: 220

I am nothing with out my soul

« on: December 08, 2003, 09:07:20 AM »


Zimbabwe divides opinion like almost nothing else in Africa.

Mugabe blames his exclusion on a white "unholy alliance"

President Robert Mugabe has quit the Commonwealth because it has not lifted its suspension of his country's membership.

This has triggered sharp disagreement among African countries, particularly southern African states.

The Commonwealth's key members, Britain, Australia and New Zealand want to see Zimbabwe isolated and punished for its violation of human rights, intimidation of the opposition and harassment of the media.

But countries like South Africa, Namibia, Mozambique and Zambia are angered by the Commonwealth's stand and are saying that Zimbabwe is not being treated equally.


I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become reality.
Posts: 1788


« Reply #1 on: December 15, 2003, 01:52:16 PM »

Zimbabwe's Suspension Unjustified, Says Mbeki
This Day (Lagos)

December 12, 2003

Chukwudi Nwabuko

President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa has described as
unjustified the continued suspension of Zimbabwe from
the Commonwealth of Nations. He said the decision to
keep the Southern Africa country suspended was not, as
is the Commonwealth tradition, arrived at by

In a letter he wrote to his political party back at
home, the African National Congress (ANC) shortly
after the close of the 2003 Commonwealth Heads of
Government Me-eting (CHOGM) which ended last Monday in
Abuja, and published on ANC website, Mbeki highlighted
the 'strong disagreement' of the Southern African
Development Commu-nity (SADC) countries with the CHOGM

The Abuja CHOGM rose from its meeting Monday with a
resolve to continue the isolation of Zimbabwe on the
ground that the re-election of President Robert Mugabe
did not adequately allow for a free expression of will
by the electors.

Mbeki recalled that when a three-man committee made up
of the Prime Minister of Australia and Presidents of
Nigeria and South Africa was set up by CHOGM at
Coolum, Australia in 2002, its term of reference was
to take action on Zimbabwe in the event that the
Commonwealth elections observer team made a negative
finding about the 2002 Zimb-abwe presidential

Mbeki said that while some countries felt that it was
time to lift the suspension, others believe there was
no justification for such a step and that there was
indeed reason to impose stronger measures. He added
that "the statement that we expressed ourselves in
favour of the continuation of the suspension was

To underline his country's disapproval of the
suspension, Mbeki pointed out that Zimb-abwe was not
given the opportunity to respond to the charges.

"We also must make the point that the Zimbabwe
government has never been given the possibility to
respond to the report of the Commonwealth observers,
contrary both to the principles of natural justice and
the rules of the Commonwealth," he stated.

While faulting the stance of the Commonwealth, Mbeki
explained that at the core of the crisis in that
country was the land question, which he said, cannot
be separated from other issues of concern.

But he expressed regrets that the land question was
not discussed at Abuja CHOGM. "Indeed the land
question has disappeared from the global discourse
about Zimbabwe, except when it is mentioned to
highlight the plight of the former landowners and to
attribute food shortages in Zimbabwe to the land
redistribution programme," the South African leader

He traced the current crisis in Zimbabwe to 1965 when
the then British Labour government, under Prime
Minister Harold Wilson, refused to suppress the
rebellion against the British Crown led by Ian Smith
"because the British government felt that it could not
act against its white 'kith and kin' in favour of the
African majority".

He lamented that "those who, in the interest of their
'kith and kin' did what they could to deny the people
of Zimbabwe their liberty for as long as they could,
have become the eminent defenders of the democratic
rights of the people of Zimbabwe."

Mbeki said the SADC and Uganda expressed their deep
concern with the dismissive, intolerant and rigid
attitude displayed by some members of the
Common-wealth during the deliberations. He aaded that
"the Common-wealth has operated always on the basis of
consensus. We fear that this attitude is destined to
undermine the spirit that makes the Commonwealth a
unique family of nations. This development does not
augur well for the future of the Commonwealth". Mbeki
stated that what Zimbabwe required was a programme of
political reconciliation, economic restructuring and
transformation that places the people and country
first and transcends the differences that were
demonstrated in the election process. He argued that
the continued isolation of Zimbabwe would not
facilitate the achievement of this goal.

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