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Zimbabwe's blood diamonds
by Thanos Kalamidas
2009-07-10 09:20:39
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From the very beginning when the situation changed in Zimbabwe, I was very careful with what I wrote about it, and I often mentioned that we have to wait and see. Somehow, the cooperation of the dictator Mugabe with the democratic opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, always left me with some doubt and a lot of questions. It’s similar to reading the history about Franz von Papen, who thought he could change Hitler into a democratic example by cooperating with him as the vice chancellor. Von Papen was a clever diplomat who had served for long, and the man really believed that he could change the monster. Unfortunately for him, in the end he became the alibi for the worst criminal in the history of the world.

I have the feeling that it will be the same case with Morgan Tsvangirai. It doesn’t matter how good his intentions are, and most likely he is doing everything to defend the Zimbabwean people, but at the end of the day it is the caricature Hitler of Africa, Robert Mugabe, who is holding the strings. After pressure from NGOs and international institutions, the Zimbabwean Government was forced to withdraw soldiers from the mining fields. It is an open secret in Zimbabwe that every rock you turn over - with money or diamonds underneath it - has Mugabe’s name written all over it in blood.

Robert Mugabe, the liberator of Africa, the man who replaced the other liberator Amin, is not a cannibal like Amin, but he is definitely a gangster of the worst type. He has all the characteristics of a ruthless dictator; the rest are just useless tales that don’t even make a good bed time story, since they are full of monsters and blood. Mugabe is ruling a country that is starving to death, and it is his responsibility. Too little is happening to save the people, despite all the efforts of Tsvangirai. The only reason behind this is Robert Mugabe and his gang. Zimbabwe is not exactly poor; there are resources that if used correctly could help to bring food and basic resources to the people. But the word ‘correctly’ is obviously the key word.

What resources? When everything worth anything goes directly into Mugabe’s pockets? How can any control succeed when all the main state assets are controlled by Mugabe and his gang? The police, the security forces, the army and the paramilitary gangs all belong to Mugabe, and they act like his private army. Zimbabwe’s Finance Minister was in Europe recently, explaining what the new government is doing and hoping for some help. And yes, humanitarian organizations try to do their best, but on the same time how can you do your best when most of the time you are a suspect in a plot against the dictator – dictators have this characteristic: they see enemies everywhere, and on the same time the dictator is milking every single thing the land can give.

Tsvangirai cannot do anything about it. To do something, he needs at least the police and the justice system behind him, but this is something he never had. You see, not only does Mugabe have the police and the law in his pocket - he is literally in their pockets as well, since he’s funding their loyalty. So they have this extra little motivation to support and protect his interests. Of course, the army was brutal in the mines, and they use people as slaves. After all, most of them are prisoners of Mugabe. There is no doubt these are people from the opposition. Tsvangirai has illusions if he believes that there are no political prisoners in Zimbabwe and if he thinks that they are not tortured and probably killed.

This is where the questions arise. How much does Tsvangirai know, and how much does he want to accept, or really accepts? How far will his compromises take him if he has sold his soul to the devil? I had nothing but good intentions to believe him from the start, and yes, I was afraid that a civil war was on Zimbabwe’s doorstep unless something changed. But at this moment, what worries me is that it was not the political system that changed, but Tsvangirai. And again, the question is if he has changed, or if he just wants to replace Mugabe one way or another - knowing that Mugabe’s seat hides a lot of …profit!

Zimbabwe doesn’t need this. What Zimbabwe needs is freedom, and the only way to get freedom is through the Zimbabwean people and their resources. But as long as Mugabe is in power, nothing will change and anybody who has the illusion of change will become his alibi; just like Tsvangirai has become now; just like von Papen became for Hitler. And another thing: Tsvangirai is now Mugabe’s alibi, but how long will it take before he becomes Mugabe’s accomplice …that’s another story.

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