Zimbabwe Watch - Press statements|
23 August 2007
I write as I please - biweekly column by Wilf Mbanga
The news that Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander, Constantine Chiwenga, and Air Force chief, Perence Shiri, were booed by junior soldiers at the Army's central Harare barracks this week is good news indeed.
The military supremos were heckled when they tried to convince disbelieving soldiers that the hardships being experienced in the military were caused by sanctions imposed by Britain and USA.
At last, the number of Zimbabweans brave enough to show the Zanu (PF) fatcats that they no longer believe their stupid promises, nor are afraid of their power, seems to be increasing.
No longer are the few courageous WOZA, MOZA and NCA supporters alone in their battle against the Mugabe regime - its lies, its thieving and its injustice.
"Currently we have about 50 piglets which are being fed at one of our farms and soldiers will soon be eating pork," Chiwenga told the soldiers. How utterly ridiculous! And how wonderful that this comment, which even a few months ago would probably have been greeted by a respectful silence, was met with "howls of laughter which took several minutes to die down". At last, it seems there is a glimmer of hope.
And it is this hope - from within the rank and file of Zimbabweans - to which we must cling. Because, as the SADC heads of state jamboree in Lusaka this week amply demonstrates, our help is unlikely to come from anywhere else.
Incoming SADC chairman and host President Levy Mwanawasa set the tone at the beginning of the two-day summit by pledging to stand by Zimbabwe's side.
SADC was always ready to assist resolve the problems in Zimbabwe, he said, and appealed to Zimbabweans to maintain unity even as the country faces political and economic crises.
"My strong advice to my brothers and sisters in Zimbabwe, therefore, is that maintain peace and stability at all costs because the opposite will just push your beautiful country even further backwards. SADC is there for you," he said.
Well that's just wonderful! This stance received a hysterical welcome from the state-controlled media in Harare - another diplomatic coup for the 83-year-old tyrant Mugabe.
Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba was quoted by Zambia's The Post newspaper as having said that Harare expected "nothing short of an extension of the solidarity expressed by the region during the SADC extraordinary summit held in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, in March this year."
Harare also celebrated the rapturous reception received by Mugabe at the start of the SADC summit.
In the face of such disappointing reaction from our neighbours Zimbabweans really need to embrace the truth - none but ourselves.
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|Wilf Mbanga, one of the founders of the independent Zimbabwean daily newspaper "The Daily News", is currently living in the UK. He writes about the current situation in Zimbabwe.|