Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Archive for December 7th, 2008

Mugabe Must Be Ousted and Put on Trial

Posted by jonathanfryer on Sunday, 7th December, 2008

robert-mugabe  The Archbishop of York, John Sentamu, is right to call on the international community to force out Robert Mugabe, the butcher of Zimbabwe, and being of African origin himself, Archbishop Sentamu cannot be accused by Harare’s propagandists of being part of a British neo-colonial conspiracy. Some other notable African churchmen have added their voices of condemnation — not least former Archbishop Desmond Tutu in South Africa — marching into moral areas where most politicians fear to tread. Just how many people need to die of cholera, on top of the hundreds of thousands of dispossessed and hungry, before the international community will take effective action on Zimbabwe?

Gordon Brown said somewhat limply over the weekend that ‘the world must tell Robert Mugabe that enough is enough’. A good sentiment, certainly, but does 10 Downing Street really think that Mugabe will listen? Of course not. He has run rings around foreign politicians, including the so-called regional mediator, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, as well as the legitimate Zimbabwean opposition. And each day that pases witnesses more deaths and more refugees.

As Nick Clegg rightly told the Daily Mail yesterday, ‘the world has sat idly by whilst Robert Mugabe has brutalised his own people for too long. Economic recession in the West has led the world to avert its gaze from the suffering in Zimbabwe.’ Moreover, Nick said that it is vital that Mugabe should be indicted by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity, and that the United Nations should now declare that the use of military force by the international community would be justified in order to protect the Zimbabwean people. New Labour long ago gave up on the late Robin Cook’s concept of an ‘ethical foreign policy’, but the LibDems should shout this line on Zimbabwe from the rooftops, winning respect not only in the UK and the wider world, but especially amongst the suffering masses of Zimbabwe as well.

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