Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Zimbabwe: some small things we can do

A friend has emailed from Zimbabwe – the first contact I’ve had for some time. Even the act of emailing me puts him at risk, so I’ll say no more for fear of identifying him. He suggests a few small things people outside Zimbabwe can do, despite the overwhelming sense of impotence we might feel in the face of Mugabe's murderous oppression.

He asks, immediately, that as many people as possible, particularly in the countries around Zimbabwe, sign the Avaaz.org appeal (above) to Thabo Mbeki. And that we take the time also to add our voices to the campaign to get the German company Giesecke & Devrient, the sole supplier of banknotes to the Mugabe regime, to halt this flow of blood money. Given the hyper-inflation in Zimbabwe, stopping this supply would make it difficult for the regime to continue to pay the 'war veterans', militia, army and police to conduct its campaign of violence and brutality against the Zimbabwean people. Further details of this and other campaign activities are available on the This is Zimbabwe blog.

This is Zimbabwe is run by the Sokwanele Zimbabwe Civic Action Support Group, whose website has been mapping Mugabe’s terror. Sokwanele-Zvakwana is a peoples' movement, embracing supporters of all pro-democratic political parties, civic organisations and institutions in Zimbabwe. Sokwanele and Zvakwana both mean 'enough is enough' in the vernacular.

For those of you with a strong stomach, Sokwanele has photos documenting the work of Mugabe’s thugs. From a war against colonialism to a war against his own people, Mugabe is on the verge of leading a genocide. There may be little we can do as individuals to stop him but we owe it to the people of Zimbabwe to do what little we are asked.
Other bloggers might also cut and paste the relevant section above - no need to link to me.


Simon West said...

Whilst I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from doing anything to express their disgust at what is happening in Zimbabwe, this does feel like a hopeless gesture. Until and unless Zimbabwe's neighbours, South Africa in particular, support international action, the Zimbabwe regime (not just Mugabe but also Zanu PF as an organisation) are not likely to change course.

Part of the price we are paying for the Iraq misadventure is that the international community is again paralysed, just as it was over Rwanda. George Bush and Tony Blair have a lot to answer for,

ng2000 said...

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