“We also belong to the world. Africa shall no longer tolerate slavery by any means, by denial of rights…I hope you will hear from us on the issue of the United Nations reform…”
By Pardon Maguta,Our Reader
As long as there is political, economic and social repression at home, Mugabe’s demands of African rights will remain unrealistic.
Those were some of President Robert Mugabe’s words as he surrendered the African Union chairmanship to President Idriss Deby of Chad.
Good words indeed, but coming from the President of Zimbabwe — a country whose citizens are yearning for reforms which the government is deliberately refusing to grant. Charity begins at home, President. We also want change in Zimbabwe.
The reforms Zimbabweans yearn for are more important than the change the President is crying for at the United Nations. One cannot try to be a democrat at international level while playing a dictator’s role at home. As Zimbabweans, we have been demanding a lot of reforms — political, social and economic — but nothing is happening.
There are oppressive pieces of legislation and statutes which make it impossible for citizens to stage a demonstration except under the express permission of the police making it difficult for people to demonstrate against government action or inaction.
Mugabe must allow domestic reforms in Zimbabwe for the good of people before he tries to fight for Africa’s rights at United Nations.
There must not be politicisation of State institutions, which has resulted in the partisan discharge of State duties by some government workers, who believe their appointment is to serve Zanu PF interests and not State interests.
Such behaviour has resulted in the cowardly distribution of agriculture inputs and State-managed food handouts to a starving population depriving people the right to food.
The list of reforms needed in Zimbabwe is endless. There has been talk of realignment of laws with the new Constitution which is being carried out piecemeal.
We demand this to be fast-tracked if possible. The UN reform agenda is good, but not at the expense of our national reform agenda. National reform first, UN reform later.
Yes, Africa is not made up of slaves and ghosts and deserves equal status with other continents at the UN. The same applies to members of opposition parties in Zimbabwe. They are not second-class citizens in their country of birth simply because they chose not to support Zanu PF.