Friday 5 December 2008

Statement on Zimbabwe

Statement by the Most Revd Thabo Makgoba, Archbishop of Cape Town

I am deeply pained by the terrible deterioration, disease and despair we are seeing in Zimbabwe.

I welcome yesterday's signs that the South African government is alive to the implications of the total collapse of governance in Zimbabwe, of which we see new evidence daily.

But the silence of SADC leaders in general is disgraceful. Why throughout this crisis have we seen no evidence of public leadership from King Mswati III, chairperson of SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation? He should not only be taking high-profile action on Zimbabwe, but needs to show that peace and democracy are possible in his own country.

Are SADC's leaders not moved by the terrible human suffering in Zimbabwe? Where is their ubuntu? Must people be massacred in Zimbabwe's streets before SADC will take firm, decisive and public action? Will they even then?

No, SADC has failed and is morally bankrupt. President Mugabe has demonstrated again and again that he will not share power. He is no longer fit to rule. I appeal to the chair of the African Union, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania to step in and declare publicly that Mugabe's rule is now illegitimate and that he must step aside, and for the AU to work speedily with the United Nations to set up a transitional government to take control.

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