A bad attitude


The name Luis Moreno-Ocampo may pass for a goalkeeper of a South American soccer team or, if your imagination is as fertile as mine, a fictitious character in a Hollywood blockbuster on gunrunning.

Yet this is a name every democracy activist should know, especially in Zimbabwe where citizens are chocked by the yoke of totalitarian insanity.

African dictators consider Moreno-Ocampo a man with a bad attitude. He makes a living pursuing scoundrels who commit crimes against humanity, and then gets them grilled by the International Criminal Court (ICC).

He is currently in hot pursuit of the surviving Gaddafi family members known to have left a murderous trail of destruction in Libya, having already wagged a litigation finger at North Sudan’s perennial offender Omar al-Bashir.

Misguided Africans habitually accuse Moreno-Ocampo of “selective justice” – a euphemism for “why me, but not George Bush” – in targeting African offenders and letting “Western” culprits go scot-free. But he does not seem bothered. He managed to drag “untouchable” bad attitude Kenyan leaders to the ICC to answer charges of crimes against humanity.

Bad attitudes are commonplace, even in church where the threshold of tolerance is expected to be higher than in a public car park. A bad attitude head elder once threw me out of a Saturday church for sporting dreadlocks! He tried to convince me locked hair “is sinful for males, as advised by the Apostle Paul”.

I drove off to less important engagements of that day, but forgave him for his awful “holier-than-thou” bad attitude!

Africa has its share of bad attitude entities that scream for Ocamporian attention: Omar al-Bashir, Lord’s Resistance Army of Uganda, Nigeria’s Boko Haram and the notorious al Shabaab of Somalia.

Moreno-Ocampo is yet to introduce himself to the naughty Chipangano because they are still under the protection of one arm of the Government of National Unity.

Moreover, President Robert Mugabe’s clamouring for early elections is a bad omen for the repetition of his June 2008 one-man theatrics. This time, he may attract unsavoury Ocamporian attention.

One hopes that in the unlikely event that his will prevails, Zanu PF cronies will endeavour to keep their dogs in the cage. Hosni Mubarak himself ended up in a cage – a pleasant sight for a former bad attitude president!

Ironically, instead of bending over backwards to stay outside the ICC cage, Attorney-General Johannes Tomana is pursuing a case against the European Union for “imposing illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe”.

I am not a lawyer, but wonder how if he was the same man who disowned the Sadc Tribunal judgment on land invasions he hopes the EU will listen to him! Bad attitude.

Okay, say the EU drops their arrogance and hosts Tomana with his legal team, I see Gukurahundi victims clamouring for similar attention from Moreno-Ocampo. They have a point: it’s a bad attitude to treat others differently from how you want to be treated! If sanctions are “illegal”, it is also a crime against humanity to slaughter 20 000 defenceless citizens.

But if Zanu PF thinks Election 2013 is an arena to apply the June 2008 anarchy, the good news is that Moreno-Ocampo is watching. Besides, in the age of iPhones and Androids, each and every act of insolence is published instantly.

Democracy, good governance and freedom are a universal integral extension of modern-day civilisation.

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