Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Mbeki provokes the ire of Zimbabwean opposition

By Frank Chikowore |News 24|

Former president Thabo Mbeki has provoked the ire of Zimbabwean opposition parties after he claimed that the British regime change policy on Zimbabwe was not for the benefit of the local majority but for the welfare of its “kith and kin”.

Former South African president Thabo Mbeki
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki

Mbeki said during a more than two-hour interview with Gauteng-based radio station Power FM on Thursday last week that Britain’s criticism of South Africa for its “quiet diplomacy” on Zimbabwe was part of London’s regime change strategy on Harare.

Mbeki was appointed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to broker a political deal that resulted in the formation of a unity government between President Robert Mugabe and former prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai in 2009 following disputed elections in 2008.

Mbeki maintained that the stance taken by South Africa on Zimbabwe during that time was to allow the country to solve its own problems.

Said Mbeki: “So you are not surprised when the UK continues to pay this particular attention to Zimbabwe. Their paying attention to Zimbabwe is not because they are interested in the future of Zimbabwe, but because they are interested in the welfare of their kith and kin. That’s what drove the British policy in Zimbabwe.”

Mbeki said alongside South Africa, Algeria and Kenya, Zimbabwe still had a larger number of white Europeans who remained in the country.

Human rights abuses 

“You still had a significant number of white people in Zimbabwe after independence. Part of the argument used by (former UK Prime Minister) Margaret Thatcher when she was against the imposition of sanctions against the (Ian) Smith regime was that ‘we have a lot of kith and kin in Zimbabwe. If we impose sanctions which actually work, you will then get half a million or quarter of Zimbabweans or whatever emigrating to England and suddenly we will be landed with a large refugee population coming from Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia)’.

“That was Margaret Thatcher’s argument. ‘And we don’t want to do that and therefore that is why we don’t want to impose sanctions.'”

Following disputed elections in Zimbabwe in 2000 and alleged human rights abuses by the Mugabe administration, the West imposed sanctions on the nonagenarian and his inner circle.

The former South African president’s remarks drew criticism from Tsvangirai’s main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party that said that Mbeki was diverting from the real issues affecting Zimbabwe.

MDC vice president Nelson Chamisa told News24 that Mbeki was “burying his head in the sand”, adding that the British were only buttressing what the majority of Zimbabweans want.

Dictator 

“Mr Mbeki is burying his head in the sand by ignoring the fact that the problem in Zimbabwe is Mugabe and not the British. You cannot expect to get an answer from a wrong question and what we have in Zimbabwe is a dictator in the name of Mugabe who has failed to run the affairs of the country, hence, we are saying there has to be change to meet the clearly looming obstacle,” said Chamisa.

“Mr Mbeki has failed to correct Mugabe; any responsible African should be able to tell leaders where they are wrong instead of shying away from real problems.”

Mbeki also drew criticism from Mugabe’s former deputy Joice Mujuru’s National People’s Party (NPP).

NPP secretary general Gift Nyandoro said Mbeki’s view was a misplaced assumption.

“The British have nothing to do with rampant corruption and nepotism that Zanu-PF specialises in. For Mbeki’s information, nothing has been left of Zimbabwe, rather the white commercial farmers who once made Zimbabwe a bread-basket have moved to other countries in southern Africa where their expertise are doing wonders to countries like Zambia and South Africa,” said Nyandoro.

The NPP top official said Mbeki’s remarks were “deliberately and recklessly calculated to ensure Zimbabwe’s continued suffering since his country of birth South Africa was immensely benefitting the Mugabe regime’s self-inflicted problems of misgovernance”.

Bankruptcy of African statesmanship

Added Nyandoro: “Mbeki remains the chief architect of the doomed Global Political Agreement which he engineered to ensure Mugabe’s survival since it is only Mugabe’s failed leadership in perpetuity that would guarantee South Africa’s continued benefitting from Zimbabwe’s human capital and business opportunities.

Mujuru’s lieutenant said Mbeki’s utterances were a negation of the revolutionary ideals for what South Africa stood for when South Africans fought apartheid.

“It only demonstrates the bankruptcy of African statesmanship that lacks the spine to tell a fellow African leader the truth.”

Political Analyst and Director of the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, Memory Kadau, said it was unfortunate that Mbeki continued to shy away from the fact that there was dictatorship in Zimbabwe.

Mbeki is ‘wrong on Zimbabwe’

“President Mbeki is a solid statesman and his love for Africa and its people is uncontested. He is, however, wrong on Zimbabwe, he continues to shy away from the fact that there is a dictatorship in Zimbabwe, said Kadau.

He added: “Since 2009 when he brokered the Global Political Agreement  (GPA), which  brought temporal solutions to the Zimbabwean crises. His quiet diplomacy foreign policy on Zimbabwe during his presidency remains partly to blame for the continued crisis, Zimbabwe could have resolved ages ago, had he chosen a harder stance.

“The Zimbabwean issue can not be and is not solely a British interests issue. It is a national crisis requiring regional and international solutions. Zimbabweans continue to ask whose interests was he protecting and continue to protect? Thousands who died during the 2008 presidential runoff and millions that continue to seek refugee at his doorstep are telling of an impeding catastrophe.

“The welfare and aspirations of Zimbabweans are far much more important than those of the political elite.”

British ambassador to Zimbabwe, Catriona Laing, was not immediately available for comment.

 

  • But it’s true regardless of what the opposition thinks and oh I’m no fan of the ruling elite too….so bad!

  • makanyara

    if there is a list of people that should be held responsible for what Zimbabwe has become .. Mbeki must be there the among the most culpable..

    • Patrick Guramatunhu

      And where on your list does MDC leaders appear?

      • razor blade

        silly question sir.

      • dehwa2

        Dumb question

    • MBEKI JNR

      Mbeki must be charged with TREASON for making Zimbabweans suffer I wish his younger brother was the mediator in 2008

  • Tavengwa

    Mbeki must then engage the Gvt of Zimbabwe on how they have to stabilise policy and development issues to make sure that Zimbabweans are in economic peace as well

  • Mbeki should have told that to British. He interfered in our affairs by acting cowardice to the British. He connived with them by remaining silent of their intentions.

    • Patrick Guramatunhu

      How did Mbeki interfer in our affairs? If we were so smart why did we allow ourselves to get into such a mess in the first place!

      • razor blade

        Are u not ashamed of bumlicking Matibili in public? Does your brain work properly? Otherwise how can we explain a person who ululates whilst his country is being raped by the shameless, terror goblin Robert Matibili? Sorry maningi!!!

  • Mbeki mboko the colonisers did much good to the locals let’s stop pointing fingers and start focusing on what we did to ourselves after the so called independence

  • sindi

    There are truths to both sides of the story. i dont like however the oppositions complacency and bed warming attitude they have to the west. The west may help improve the state of our economic affairs yes, but their first interests or priorities are their own just as ours should be our own. Empowerment of the zimbabwean individual is still important, it can be a good thing when done properly. we should avoid a situation such as the one mu south africa where munhu mutema owns very little compared to foreign nationals including foreign companies. MDC should stop preaching this white man savior gospel and focus some of their strength on giving zimbabweans a chance. ma zimba are unique they have what it takes.

    • Mandi weMDC

      Ziparagraph rako rinonzwisa hope. I’m yawning: Iyaaoooooooo!

  • Mbeki the coward. He suported Bob and he knew his policy wld cripple Zim. So now Zim is down to its knees, thanx to him.

  • Mbeki the coward. He suported Bob and he knew his policy wld cripple Zim. So now Zim is down to its knees, thanx to him.

    • Patrick Guramatunhu

      What were we doing?

  • Mbeki costed us our independence by refusing to accept the crisis post elections in 2008 .Please Shut up mr no crisis mbeki

    • Patrick Guramatunhu

      Yeah but you have not said why we got into the mess in the first place!

  • Mbeki costed us our independence by refusing to accept the crisis post elections in 2008 .Please Shut up mr no crisis mbeki

  • Mbeki is stupiud

  • Mbeki is stupiud

  • ane purazi raakapiwa

  • ane purazi raakapiwa

  • He is 100 percent correct. I always say both the British and Mugabe are two sides of the same coin. They are all selfish

  • IMBWA YAMBUYA WAKO

  • Oĺd wine get stronger with age Àfrica greatest leađeŕ who a kiñ to protect their children trying to aleŕt their çhildren who aŕe trapped by forces of neo coloñialism.Blind Mdc suppoters who not see beyoñd a meter idiots fools

    • Well said Sir! They are so fools and idiots, barbarians and brainwashed people. They must leave Mbeki and Mugabe alone.

  • The only “Opposition Party that is authentic is the entire “Population”!

  • Most of Zimbabweans are so fools and idiots. They hated our great African Leaders and busy support those white goats the British and American. Makakwana here imi maZimbabweans? If anyone who doesn’t like Mugabe and Mbeki, go to UK or U.S.A and stay there. Leave Mbeki alone. He’s a great African Leader. Mugabe, Mbeki and Zuma are great Leaders in Africa. Leave them alone.

  • che

    No wonder why Africa is in a sorry state with people like Mbeki. Even ordinary South Africans know that he is lying. Mbeki is a compulsive liar. He is a dreamer of the worst kind, who says reckless statements when high on whisky. That’s why they kicked him out in SA before the end of his second term. Africa is in shit because of people like him. Unfortunately we are not fooled by old fashioned blame games where they try to blame whites for everything to cover up for their incompetence. It used to work in the 80s and 90s now Africa’s populace are increasingly exposing morally bankcrupt politicians of the likes of Mbeki. Zim shall rise again despite Mbeki’s shenanigans.

    • Patrick Guramatunhu

      Mbeki was right in saying Zimbabweans must take responsibility of our own destiny!

    • Cash Baron

      maybe there is more than tobacco in that pipe of his.

  • No wonder why Africa is in a sorry state with people like Mbeki. Even ordinary South Africans know that he is lying. Mbeki is a compulsive liar. He is a dreamer of the worst kind, who says reckless statements when high on whisky. That’s why they kicked him out in SA before the end of his second term. Africa is in shit because of people like him. Unfortunately we are not fooled by old fashioned blame games where they try to blame whites for everything to cover up for their incompetence. It used to work in the 80s and 90s now Africa’s populace are increasingly exposing morally bankcrupt politicians of the likes of Mbeki. Zim shall rise again despite Mbeki’s shenanigans.

  • Mbeki is just pig!

  • I don’t support the political and economic mess that has been prevailing in Zim for quite sometime neither do I support the corrupt and blackmail ridden government. But I’ve always supported Thabo Mbeki’s stance on Zimbabwe and the way he dealt with Mugabe. I think people are really failing to read between the lines and failing to really understand the depth of what Mbeki has been saying and still says on the Zim issue. What was Mbeki supposed to do at that time? Organise a Southern Africa invasion of Zim and dislodge grand pa Bob from power just like that? Now invasion was possible given that even the British and Americans were willing to give financial and material support for any of Zimbabwe’s neighbours to attack and remove Bob and it could have been done within a week with little resistance from the then suffering and hungry Zim soldiers. But then lets look at Mbeki’s reasoning at that time and even now>Thabo Mbeki has always said its only Zimbabweans who have the power and right to change their own government and destiny.It needs us to analyse very easily Mbeki’s stance on Zim.From
    the way i see it Mbeki was and still secretly and intelligently believes that first of all for Zimbabweans to get any foreign help to change the political set up,first the Zimbabweans have to take the lead and take the first step towards changing the Zim situation. That means only Zimbabweans should take the first step towards changing things. Once other countries see and notice the passion and force from the Zimbabwean people to change things, it becomes very very easy and reasonable enough for other countries to also intervene and help usher in back new democracy in Zimbabwe. But now as long as Zim people are so proud and arrogant and we see ourselves as too “,smart and educated” to be seen matching and toyi toying in the streets and so scared and afraid at seeing just ONE baton stick weilding cop,then we can all forget about ever getting Zim to be on the right political and economic track. Zimbabweans we deserve this current government because we are cowards.Leave Thabo Mbeki alone.

  • Thanks for saying it. But that regime is not good either

  • Thabo usadaro mind your own business

  • Nxaaa imbwa iyi

  • Mbeki is just nonsense figure who don’t have credible thing he has done.He was just luck to be elevated to the top position coz of his father,sidelining potential leaders like Hani.Otherwise he must keep quiet coz his time is gone

  • Patrick Guramatunhu

    Zimbabweans know organisations like Crisis in Zimbabwe have blindly followed wherever MDC has led them and so what people like Kadau says must be taken with a pitch of salt.

    “The Zimbabwean issue cannot be and is not solely a British interests issue. It is a national crisis requiring regional and international solutions. Zimbabweans continue to ask whose interests was he protecting and continue to protect? Thousands who died during the 2008 presidential runoff and millions that continue to seek refuge at his doorstep are telling of an impending catastrophe,” said Memory Kadau of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.

    Whilst I agree that the Zimbabwe crisis was not resolved by the GNU and that it is now an “impending catastrophe”. Still I have yet to hear what exactly Kadau wanted President Mbeki to do. In my humble opinion the GNU failed to deliver the promise of free and fair elections because MDC failed to get any reforms implemented.

    Kadau should come out in the open tell us what makes him believe President Mbeki was protecting some interests at the time or since! One must never make such character assassination innuendos especially when it totally unfounded.

    It is no secret that Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has supported MDC in the past even when the party has blundered from pillar to post. Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has yet to admit that MDC failed to implement even one reform during GNU much less admit the consequences of the said failure. Why that is so is a complete mystery given the mountain of evidence!

    We are not going to get out of the hell -hole we are in by following failed leaders!

  • But i thought he said South Africa must leave Zimbabweans sort their own problems,had he automatically become a Zimbo?😂

  • razor blade

    No point even arguing about the idiotic fool Thabo Mbeki. No wonder he was kicked out by his own people, simply a useless, deluded clown. To hell with evil &Robert Matibili & his bumlicker Mbeki!!

  • Ngaarege nyaope Mbeki uyu

  • Thats the truth son of the soil. People are not always comfortable with the truth.

  • clement moyo

    Mbeki is not the best person to listen to seeing he wanted to temper with the SA constitution himself to satisfy his power hunger. He negotiated his business deals by ditching out Zimbabweans to Mugabe.