HomeOpinion & AnalysisColumnistsTime for AU to stand up against tyranny in Zim

Time for AU to stand up against tyranny in Zim


ON Saturday, Zimbabwe joined the rest of the continent in celebrating the African Union (AU)’s Golden Jubilee.

Newsday Editorial

President Robert Mugabe is in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, for the festivities.

It is the same AU that in July 2008 mandated Sadc to hammer out an inclusive government in Zimbabwe after a one-man sham presidential poll the previous month that was characterised by violence of immense proportions.

The AU and Sadc became the guarantors of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), whose provisions, especially on media and security sector reforms, remain largely unimplemented because of Zanu PF’s intransigence and its quest for political papacy.

It is against this backcloth that we implore the AU, especially its commission, to use its 21st Ordinary Session to ask Mugabe to fully consummate the GPA and guarantee peace before, during and after elections this year.

The African leaders must not pull punches, but demand a paradigm shift from the veteran leader and his Zanu PF party.

The AU needs to warn Mugabe that Africa and the international community will reject an electoral outcome born out of a bloody election, a poll marred by intimidation and abuse of State organs to prop up the delinquent Zanu PF.

In as far as the elections are concerned, the playing field is already uneven.

Elections under the current framework will invariably be disputed and, by all indications, we are heading for another bloody and divisive poll.

Security sector reforms and national healing are more due than an election which is likely to sink the nation into a socio-economic abyss.

African leaders should put their foot down and tell Mugabe that impunity cannot be part of the game this time around.

Any form of violence has to be stopped and perpetrators dealt with ruthlessly.

The AU leaders must demand the arrest of perpetrators of the June 2008 violence.

We still await the arrest and trial of known figures who allegedly petrol-bombed the MDC-T’s Talent Mabika and Tichaona Chiminya in 2000.

One of the alleged killers, Joseph Mwale, continues to roam the streets.

Why are the police not probing and arresting those responsible for the bloody June 2008 presidential election runoff campaign which the MDC-T says claimed the lives of more than 200 of its supporters, with thousands maimed and displaced?

The AU must demand an end to partisan reportage by State media.

The State media has turned itself into an extension of Zanu PF’s information and publicity department — a clear violation of the GPA and its public mandate.

It is time for the AU to stand up against tyranny in Zimbabwe.

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