Thabo Mbeki Must Intervene in Zimbabwe

By Seth Naicker 5-27-2008

In the back and forth concerning the role South Africa must play in the crisis of human rights abuses under the reign of Robert Mugabe and his cronies, it is my belief that we must see some form of serious intervention.

I understand the need for diplomacy, which always calls for "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours." But when endless reports have been publicized of the atrocities that the people of Zimbabwe are facing, South African President Thabo Mbeki must engage ways to ensure that we as a South African people do not repeat history in our failure to act for justice -- as Bishop Tutu rightfully pointed out in the tragedy of Rwanda.

Mbeki can use people like Dr. Gerrie Lubbe, Dr. Allan Boesak, Bishop Tutu, and many other social activists who should be strategically commissioned to have a round-table discussion with Mugabe and his crew.

While the world, and even South Africa, remains largely disengaged from this crime against humanity that is occurring in Zimbabwe, people are dying. Must someone declare that there is genocide taking placing before the United Nations, the African Union, and world leaders will make a stand?. If this is the case, let me proclaim, "There is genocide taking place in Zimbabwe!" -- a genocide that may be ethnic, it may be cultural, but most definitely political.

For all that Mugabe has seen in his lifetime, one cannot understand how elder Mugabe can allow his people to suffer at his hand. At one time in our not-too-distant history, Mugabe was one of the most celebrated African leaders. How has this former champion of his people become the enslaver and dictator?

Let us work to mobilize our networks and resources, and our power and influence to aid the people of Zimbabwe. Do what you can to see this hypocrisy and abuse of human rights come to an end.

Seth Naicker is an activist for justice and reconciliation from South Africa. He is currently studying and working at Bethel University, in St. Paul, Minnesota, as the program and projects director for the Office of Reconciliation Studies. He can be reached at: or

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