Thursday, February 12, 2009

Will the 11th of February mark authentic change? -by Seth Naicker

The 11th of February 1990, marked the wondrous day Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was released from prison. South Africa and the world rejoiced at the site of seeing President Mandela free after 27years of imprisonment, free to grace his fellow comrades, nation and global society with what commonly became recognized as “Madiba Magic”. President Mandela had an aura about him that spoke of promise and convinced one of a bright future and hope for the South African nation.
On Wednesday, the 11th of February, 2009 Morgan Tsvangirai was sworn in as Prime Minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe by President Robert Mugabe. One must question if this 11th of February, 2009 in Zimbabwe is to be considered as promising as the 11th of February 1990.
Morgan Tsvangirai is considered to be a champion of the people, and has propelled the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), in a manner that has remained true to the cry of the oppressed and disenfranchised people of Zimbabwe. But as I reflect on this moment I am skeptic of the way in which change has presented itself. I believe that a peaceful and diplomatic path has been chosen to appeal to the plight of the people, who have and continue to face dire circumstances. It must be considered that Robert Mugabe’s actions are self serving, and one should wonder as to the authenticity of this shared power scenario.
People of Zimbabwe have faced human rights abuses and atrocities that would make one shudder. The militant acts of Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) under the leadership of Robert Mugabe and his cronies, as it relates to people being tortured and stripped of their every human dignity, must not be forgotten. It is my hope that Robert Mugabe will come face to face with his consciousness, where one who was once hailed freedom fighter and liberator of people, some where along his journey lost sight of his call to serve, protect and lead with integrity, and turned into a devious and deadly dictator.
President of South Africa Kgaleme Motlanthe, has pointed out that this result of shared power serves to vindicate and prove that the path South African leadership chose in dealing with the Zimbabwean crisis, was the right path. I dare to differ, for in my understanding South African leadership chose a silent diplomacy, standing back without pressurizing Robert Mugabe, or holding him to account for the human rights abuses, which have transpired thus far. The sharing of power as has been initiated by the installation of Morgan Tsvangirai, is at the very least a step in the right direction, but I believe that our South African government and leadership could have, and should have played a much more directive role in ensuring that Robert Mugabe felt the heat and the ridicule for his vile and villainous ways.
It seems that Robert Mugabe will never come to trial or have to account for his actions of dehumanizing his own people. It is my prayer that Morgan Tsvangirai will be able to do the work of bringing economic stability, and security to Zimbabwe, in the midst of having to deal with a global community and global leadership who by and large are critical and distrust the current shared power scenario. There have been reports by MDC comrades, stating their dissatisfaction at the sharing of power, and some who believe that this is all a charade. Ultimately for many, Robert Mugabe must relinquish his power, stand down and stand trial, for true justice, freedom and democracy to be realized.
It is my hope and prayer that the 11th of February, 2009 for Zimbabwe will truly yield a future where people will testify of the beginning of a new day of justice, hope and positive change. May we continue to uphold in our prayer, thoughts and actions the plight of the Zimbabwean people.

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