JUST the other day, world television screens were awash with Robert Mugabe’s militia chasing his opponents like wild animals across the savannah and shrub lands of Zimbabwe. These fleeing desperados were not aliens in Zimbabwe and neither were they Zimbabwean wildlife.
They were bona fide citizens of that country. They were fleeing for their lives because they were suspected to be opposed to Mugabe’s continued presidency.
In our characteristic fashion, we condemned Mugabe left and right and even commended Morgan Tsvangirai for boycotting a repeat of the elections and taking refuge inside some foreign embassy.
At that time we were almost certain that Mugabe had reached a dead end. And with voices of reason condemning Mugabe from Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Zambia, we breathed a sigh of relief that at last some African leaders had seen the light and castigated one of their own.
All went well until Mugabe ran against himself, declared himself winner within hours, and like Mwai Kibaki got sworn in within minutes of the predetermined results! But Mugabe had to better the Kibaki feat. He remembered that he needed the endorsement of the entire AU club that was meeting in some Egyptian resort.
He got into his jet and arrived there just in time for the Heads of State Summit. As the galaxy of African leaders marched to the conference hall, Uncle Bob was a proud member among equals! He confidently took his place of honour and even had the audacity to address that august gathering!
Like Robert Mugabe, President Omar El Bashir has been carrying out a systematic genocide in the Darfur area of Sudan since his expansionist war in the South ended in disaster four years ago.
With 300,000 civilians massacred and another two million persons rendered homeless, he is the kind of leader that under normal circumstances would not be recognised by any country in Africa let alone the world. Yet, President Bashir is a proud member of the prestigious AU with a real possibility of chairing the Union one day!
In my opinion, Mugabe is today in power because Africa no longer has a Nyerere among its leaders. The atrocities Mugabe’s regime has meted out on its people would have been enough for an African military force to invade Zimbabwe and ship its leaders out to The Hague or Arusha for crimes against humanity.
The human catastrophe that Bashir has engineered and managed in Darfur and South Sudan are enough to send him to The Hague to stand trial for crimes against humanity.
Between Mugabe and Bashir, the two African ‘leaders’ have killed more people than Idi Amin, Serbians and Americans have killed in Uganda, Serbia and Iraq.
If Americans have waged a war of invasion in Afghanistan and Iraq, Mugabe and Bashir, like their predecessor Idi Amin, have turned their guns on their helpless, unarmed civilian soft targets. The more reason they qualify to head for The Hague or Arusha Tribunal.
Now that Mugabe has agreed to negotiate power sharing arrangements with Tsvangirai, we seem to be breathing an air of relief as if that is the solution to the Zimbabwean crisis!
In embracing this dialogue, what Africa and the UN are telling Zimbabweans is that those who died for democracy in that country died in vain. They didn’t have to die for Tsvangarai or MDC because all MDC needed to do was to share power with Uncle Bob.
If that were so, then why did we prod Tsvangirai to run against Mugabe knowing well that all MDC needed was to share power? Why didn’t they make this arrangement earlier to avoid uncalled for loss of human life?
The situation gets even more pathetic when it comes to Bashir. This is the man who has defied all international counselling when it comes to Darfur.
He has even killed AU and UN peacekeeping forces there! He has ordered his soldiers to bomb and burn villages without provocation. He has used unnecessary force to quell imaginary rebellion.
Yet, when the International Court of Justice finally indicts him, African ‘leaders’ are the first ones to condemn the court for unfairly indicting this murderer!
How many more innocent Africans must die in Mugabe’s name before we act?
How many more Africans must be murdered by Bashir before we wake up to the human tragedy?
How many more women and children must be raped, maimed and murdered in the deserts of Darfur and Matabeleland before this continent stirs?