Politicking in Zimbabwe is embarrassing

It makes me sick to see how African leaders fraternize with each other—cocktail-drinking, cigar-smoking liberation brothers who have fought off the evil white colonialists—while one of their own, Zimbabwe, struggles and perishes, all in the name of brotherhood and Africanism.


What is most confusing is the apparent unwillingness to believe that the silence is ultimately meaningless. The lack of open dialogue on the continent does everything to keep the man in power on a daily basis, and absolutely nothing to prevent his inevitable downfall.

Whether it be Thabo Mbeki, Muammar Gaddafi, or Paul Kagame—holders of the pan-African dream—somebody has got to say something.


The situation in Harare is so ridiculously out of hand that the despair of the country seems to now have a nature of its own. A lack of dialogue has effectively rendered African leaders useless in helping direct the problem. It is too late for those angered and impoverished by Mugabe to ever forgive his mistakes. At some point, as he grows older and weaker, Zimbabweans will be emboldened by the silence of Africa and take matters into their own hands. Why is it so hard to see that inevitability? It is written over and over again in the blood of history.


Zimbabweans will be all the worse for the silence. Mugabe has narrowed his presidential future down to possible conclusions; death or revolt, and silence from abroad will not prevent this, only make it harder to transition.

And it all seems to be because of the West.


An African problem, they say, calls for an African solution. While Mugabe blames the West for his problems, the rest of Africa politely declines international help, saying they will and should handle the situation on their own.


The lack of change in Zimbabwe only further shows the cancer of such self-proclaimed fraternity. Rwanda should take appropriate measures in showing the rest of Africa that it’s dealing with an ‘African’ situation in context and reaction to non-Africans.

This continent is too obsessed with its relationship with the West that it is paralyzed to do what it should, and would, under different circumstances.


Would it be more wrong if a white man was destroying a foreign country the same way? Yes. Is it any less wrong because it’s a black man destroying his own? No. It really is awful and disgusting to watch someone who is so blatantly breaking the back of his own people while his peers hide shyly away in the shadows of pan-Africanism. Nothing could destroy Garvey’s dream more.


As a leader who has struck a good balance between Africa’s history and future with the West, Kagame should tell his colleagues to stop being insecure, stop being defensive, and stop adjusting policies and attitudes to the wrong subjects.


Africa has long held immense moral high ground, specifically because of the way it was treated by outsiders. Now, that soft power is being as poorly spent and managed as Zimbabwe’s finances. And it is a definite and descending commodity.


You know what real brothers do when one has a problem? They talk about it. Family affairs stay family affairs, but something has to be going on. For some reason, some of the brightest and most able of African leaders think—or, even worse, think they can pretend to the public—that being a brother means supporting one another to no end.


President Paul Kagame, be the man for Africa you’ve been for Rwanda. Silence will do nothing to stop riots, whether it be while Mugabe is alive, or when he passes. All the African leaders are doing is forfeiting their chance to influence the direction and velocity of a brother’s future.


Mugabe is not the country. The people who remain afterwards are the country, and they will most certainly remember that Africa big and strong did nothing to help them.


How do you think that’s going to feel?




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