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25 September 2007
I write as I please - tweewekelijkse column door Wilf Mbanga

Column 18 th amendment

I do not share the euphoria in opposition circles about the 18th amendment, which went through both houses of parliament in record time last week. Some of the more enthusiastic MDC officials have hailed this rare show of unity between the opposition and the ruling Zanu (PF) as a triumph.

But I am watching the whole thing with cautious scepticism. Knowing Zanu (PF) the way I do, they have something up their sleeve and it looks like the opposition has been well and truly hoodwinked.
Most people are hoping and praying for a miracle – that Zanu (PF) will at last put the country first and negotiate seriously to bring about a lasting solution to the problems.
That is all well and good but it is vitally important that those negotiating our future should have their eyes wide open to the clever machinations of the Mugabe regime.
The opposition leaders need to warned that a bad solution is no solution at all. What is needed is a solution that will be acceptable to the people of Zimbabwe who have suffered so much under Mugabe’s tyranny. The solution must bring an end to the tyranny. Furthermore, it must be something that the international community will buy into. We are desperately in need of international support to rebuild our shattered nation.
Unfortunately, if one looks at Zanu (PF)’s past it does not inspire any confidence at all. Mugabe and some of his ministers are on record as saying they want to rule for ever. Their actions speak even louder than their words.
Furthermore, South African President, Thabo Mbeki, who evidently arm-twisted the two MDC wings to accept this amendment, is on record as having declared his coziness with Zanu (PF). He and his government have defended Mugabe shamelessly at countless international forums whenever the Zimbabwean regime has come up for criticism. Once gain, his actions speak louder than his words. It is five years since the international community agreed to stand back and let him sort out the “Zimbabwe question”. And just look at the result of that mis-placed trust!
What the MDC leaders need to have constantly at the back of their minds during the negotiations is what happened to Zapu. They allowed themselves to be swallowed up by Zanu (PF) and were utterly destroyed.

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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.

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