|Year 2008 No. 64, July 7, 2008||ARCHIVE||HOME||JBBOOKS||SUBSCRIBE|
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The government has made several pronouncements on the recent second round of the presidential election in Zimbabwe. Indeed both the Prime Minister and the Foreign Secretary spoke before the election, held on June 27, declaring that in their view, violence had prevented any election being viable and calling for further UN intervention in the country. The Prime Minister referred to Zimbabwe as a criminal regime run by a criminal cabal. Since the election, the Minister for Africa, Lord Malloch Brown, has also issued several statements and attended the recent summit meeting of the African Union, held in Egypt.
In short, the government has openly given its support to the opposition candidate in Zimbabwes election and interfered in that countrys internal affairs, as well as striving to bring maximum pressure on neighbouring countries and on the deliberations of the AU. In this regard, the government is continuing with the attempts it has made for many years to determine what political and economic course is followed by Zimbabwe. At the present time, it is declaring that Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, must stand aside, and that the candidate and political party that is acceptable to Britain, the US and the EU must be installed in power. Then, it is promised, sanctions will be lifted and the rebuilding and reconstruction of Zimbabwe can begin. This is outright blackmail. The sanctions, which play no small part in harming Zimbabwes economy, must be lifted immediately, and the issue of aid must not be used as a tool to attempt to coerce the Zimbabwean government in acceding to the demands of Britain and the EU.
Most recently, Foreign Secretary David Miliband , visiting South Africa ahead of the G8 summit in Japan, called for international consensus that the Mugabe regime is not a legitimate representation of the will of the people of Zimbabwe. He further called for a UN resolution to back international sanctions against President Mugabes government. He repeats the disinformation that the outcome of the March 29 election has caused a crisis, but neglects to comment on the legitimacy of the Zimbabwean election process or on the self-serving nature of the package called free and fair elections that Britain seeks to impose as the allegedly universal yardstick of democracy.
A great propaganda campaign has been mounted in the monopoly media in this country, as has been the case for many years, as though Zimbabwe were a major issue in world politics that dwarfs the tragedies of Iraq and Afghanistan. Little or nothing is said about Britains colonial domination of Zimbabwe and the fact that no reparation has been made, nor the fact that the Labour government has reneged on promises and agreements made in the past to provide financial support for land redistribution in Zimbabwe. Much is made of that countrys recent economic problems, although the causes of these problems and the role of Britain, the US and the international financial institutions in which they hold sway is never mentioned. The picture that is presented is one of a criminal regime that is attempting to prevent the so-called Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) from coming to power, but nothing is said about the nature of that organisation, nor the role that the British government, the Westminster Foundation and other foreign organisations have played in its rise to prominence. It could be argued that it is impossible to have free and fair elections in Zimbabwe while the British government and other foreign agencies are openly supporting one party and its candidate in that election. Nevertheless, the government has declared itself content with the first round of elections held earlier this year, which it refers to as legitimate since the result, although not producing an outright winner, favoured the candidate of the MDC.
One of the key issues is that the problems confronting Zimbabwe must be solved by the people of that country themselves, without interference and bullying from the big powers. It is external interference that has created all the conditions for the instability and violence which has accompanied the recent elections. The government and media have of course made a great deal of fuss about the violent incidents that have occurred. This is in contrast to their attitude towards the violence that accompanied the elections, held in breach of international law, in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan, most of it perpetrated by the occupying forces under the leadership of the US and Britain. At the same time, as the Minister for Africa made clear, the government has not ruled out the use of violence and whatever it takes to bring about regime change in Zimbabwe.
The outcome of the recent AU summit appears to have been a commitment by African governments to resist the pressure and bullying of Britain and the other big powers. The AU called for dialogue and government of national unity in Zimbabwe, a position that was immediately opposed by the EU, which declared that it would only recognise a government led by the MDC candidate, Morgan Tsvangarai. More recently it has been reported that talks between the government of Zimbabwe and the MDC are being held, and South African president Thabo Mbeki, who has acted as the main mediator on behalf of the AU and the neighbouring states of the Southern African Development Community, reiterated the view that Zimbabweans must decide for themselves the composition of their government. Others, he added, could not dictate the outcome of the discussions.
In regard to Zimbabwe, the important principle which must be upheld is the right of the people of that country to choose their own path of development and government, free from the meddling of Britain and the other big powers. As the spokesman of the government of Zimbabwe recently pointed out, Zimbabwe is no longer a British colony and the British government has no right to interfere in its internal politics. The attempt of the government to impose its universal values in Africa by issuing threats and bullying and destabilising Zimbabwe must be totally condemned.
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