Nigeria’s president has asked fellow African nations to lend a helping hand to failing South African state, Zimbabwe. President Yar Adua believes this to be critical to the renaissance of the Zimbabwean economy. A straight forward sceptic’s reaction to this Macedonian call will be to scornfully ask the Nigerian president if nearly all African countries do not need help. From Somalia, DRC to Sudan there is a genuine need for a Marshall Plan intervention for the continent. The World Bank reports nearly 70% of the world’s poorest nations are in Africa.

However Zimbabwe doesn’t need either Nigeria or Africa’s help. In the 1970’s when pan Africanism was the elixir, the fiends were the British and the West; the continent’s freedom fighters trudged jungles, valleys and hills in a bid to oust the colonialists. Robert Mugabe unfortunately 29 years after his country’s independence is the bogeyman of his country’s political and economic woes. Succinctly spinning his home-made labyrinth, Mugabe in the guise of nationalism threw out white farmers, entrenched himself as life-president of the nation-maiming, detaining or killing his opponents. His antecedent since 1990 when Bishop Desmond Tutu believed he should have stepped down are gruesome-remarkable when you realize Mugabe was once a progenitor of Pan-Africanism. Then, in the same breath was he mentioned with Jomo Kenyatta, Kenneth Kaunda, and Julius Nyerere. But now in the dungeons of muck and obscenity, a bedfellow he languishes with the likes of Idi Amin, Emperor Bokassa, Mobotu Sese Seko,Sani Abacha etc. The truth is Robert Mugabe at 85 is an elder statesman and perhaps the oldest of all the leaders in the continent that’s why the southern African regional body needed nearly a year to make him sign a foxy sharing power pact with Morgan Tsvangirai-skewed more to Mugabe’s favour.

When it was once suggested that the AU try to ease him out of office, Mugabe had derided the remaining 51 African leaders saying they couldn’t even stand a chance to oust him forcefully. And he is right; the bogus African union is made up of bureaucrats, cowards, hecklers and hypocrites. That’s why in more than a dozen African countries, unrest is the default state of affairs. Al-shabab, the Islamist terrorist group responsible for railroading Somalia, recently killed 11 AU peacekeepers and has threatened further attacks on the AU force referring to them as invaders-though the country’s president is an Islamist. Only a handful of African nations are involved in the peacekeeping operation in Somalia. Yar’ Adua may play the advocate but his foreign affairs spokesman, Ojo Maduekwe isn’t even interested in discussing the inclusion of Nigerian troops in Somalia, saying that we are not ready for the body bags. Mugabe accuses the West of the debilitating conditions that have eclipsed Africa’s one-time food basket. However Mugabe and his aides have continued to flourish despite international sanctions while his country’s beggarly population is rapidly withering away to the harshest economic climate and a stubborn cholera epidemic. Two months ago it was Mugabe’s wife painting Hong Kong red. This week it’s the sickening attempt of Zimbabwe’s VP Joyce Muturu to sell DRC gold to a foreign firm through her Spanish daughter. The Muturu’s own more than substantial investments in several African countries

Zimbabwe deserves neither aid nor support until President Mugabe starts to respect the rule of law-obedience to court rulings, free all activists, return all stolen funds, and conduct credible elections. Nigeria and the rest of the continent should ape ex UN scribe, Kofi Annan’s strong stance on Kenya where he has threatened to turn in an envelope to the ICC – the envelope contains 10 names responsible for the deaths of at least 600 and the displacement of more than 300,000 following riots after Kenya’s General election – if by march 1st a probe panel isn’t set up to investigate the killings. Enough of the surreptitious rule of thumb-let’s sweep it under the carpet- that has long crippled development in the continent.



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