Monday, June 23, 2008

What is the government's (Kibaki's) position on Zimbabwe?

A few weeks ago, Prime Minister Raila Odinga rebuked African leaders for turning a blind eye to poor governance and disrespect of democracy. Said Raila: "The mediocrity with which Africa has been ruled is what is responsible for African underdevelopment." To more applause, he also attacked Zimbabwe's government: "Still today, it is unfortunate that in an African country elections can be held and no results are announced for more than one month, and African leaders are silent about it. It would not happen in Europe."

Later, he clarified that those views were not GoK policy, but rather his own personal position (and by extension ODM's stand?) because Zimbabwe has not been discussed at Cabinet level.

The circumstances which generated Kenya's recent post-election crisis – in which 1,500 people died and 350,000 were displaced – were not unique to Kenya, he told the opening plenary session of the forum. "It is a continental problem and it is a problem of bad governance that Africa has witnessed since independence," he said. To applause, he added: "The mediocrity with which Africa has been ruled is what is responsible for African underdevelopment." He appeared on the panel with Presidents John Kufuor of Ghana, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, Bingu wa Mutharika of Malawi and Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi. Raila told the forum that the post-election crisis and ensuing violence in Kenya had shown "the soft underbelly of our society… For over 40 years of our independence we lived the lie that we were a united country. But deep down there were ethnic tensions running very deep, and society was very fragile and fragmented."

These remarks were made in front of six African Heads of State including Thabo Mbeki of South Africa who many hold directly responsible for sustaining the dictatorship of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe. No other African leader, even within the SADC, has ever told-off Mbeki to his face on his preferred and obviously unworkable method of ‘quiet-diplomacy’ while the majority of Zimbabwean citizens languish in poverty and widespread hunger.

Three weeks later, GoK still has not taken a political position on Zimbabwe. As much has Raila is part and parcel of the same government, he has slyly "absolved" himself by way of that scathing attack at the WEF, and consequent classification of them as personal views. As Cabral Pinto observes (What is Kenya's position on Zimbabwe, Mr Wetangula, Saturday Nation, 21 June 2008) - "Kenya's foreign policy appears to dwell in the head of State, an aspect of imperial presidency. To know what dwells in his head, Kenyans have to wait and see." So what is the head of State's position on Zimbabwe? I agree with Pinto; Wetangula should come forward and tell Kenyans and the world the political position the Government of Kenya has taken on the issue. What position will Kenya push at the next AU meeting that will more likely than not discuss the situation in Zimbabwe? Even if a "Grand coalition position" may not be available, Wetangula should be able to clarify whether his masters support leaders who deny their citizens their human rights. Does Kenya support the butchering of citizens by any member of the AU? Does Kenya support elections that are not free, fair and peaceful?

In the end, Kibaki is silent because he has no moral platform from which to condemn Mugabe.


fimbo said...

here is raila

Truth Hurts said...

Raila has to say that because he is told to do so by his Western backers who installed him in a coup after he lost the Kenyan presidential election, much like they are trying to do in Zimbabwe in trying to install the loser Tsvangirai.

This is the Prime Minister of a sovereign nation expressing the opinions, not of the government which he coordinates and serves, but of his own personal ends.

Raila Odinga is the very same man behind the 1982 aborted coup which cost thousands of Kenyans their lives, and the very man behind the 2008 election violence which almost tore the country in two, and produced some of the worst ethnic violence ever seen on this planet. He has no moral authority to lecture others on poor leadership.

The facts are very clear. Africa, after 100+ years of being raped by Europe is turning east.
All sound African economic experts know that looking east to China, India, etc. is the only sane way for Africa to move forward.

Europe is losing its grip on Africa and needs the Raila Odingas and Morgan Tsvangirais of this world to do its bidding on this continent. This is the sad fact.

This truth is not popular, but it is the truth. Europe is losing its grip and seems to be scared to death about it, which is surprising seeing as they seem to put across the idea that Africa is a wasteland continent.