April 4, 2005


Enough is enough: The Mugabe regime is not going to be removed by votes or violence. It's time for a peaceful uprising, says the pro-democracy group Sokwanele (Sokwanele, April 4, 2005, Guardian Unlimited)

[Z]anu-PF will never be defeated through the ballot box as long as they run the elections. Quite simply, Zanu-PF will not permit any party, however popular, to beat them in an election. And that fact has the most serious consequences for the opposition MDC, which plainly won the majority vote in this election, as they did in the 2000 and 2002 elections. The question now is whether the MDC has any other strategy apart from mobilising voters and winning elections.

We expected the MDC to have learnt this lesson after suffering two previous stolen elections. And having committed to this contest while knowing the lengths to which Zanu-PF would go to rig the result, we expected them to have worked out a "Plan B" to put into effect immediately upon the announcement of the fraudulent vote. This did not happen immediately, raising speculation as to whether the MDC leadership has what it takes to follow through. However difficult and dangerous it may be to act, the consequences of failing to act are far worse. Sooner or later the people must confront insolent tyranny, and this is surely the moment.

Zanu-PF is a party of violence, Mugabe has boasted of his "degrees in violence", and as such it cannot be defeated by this method. It would be irresponsible to consider that option. But there are other non-violent options, such as calling people onto the streets in protest, sit-ins, stay-aways, boycotts and many other civil disobedience options. None of these options are without risk, but again the risk resulting from doing nothing is far greater.

We believe the people of Zimbabwe are ready to heed the call of Archbishop Pius Ncube, who twice in the past week has called for a non-violent and peaceful uprising to throw out this corrupt regime. Furthermore, excluding the supine leadership of South Africa's African National Congress (which must now be regarded as wholly complicit in Mugabe's evil tyranny), we believe the international community also stands ready to act. They are ready to demonstrate their solidarity with those who suffer in Zimbabwe today, but we cannot expect the international community to take the first step. Ours must be that first painful step of open and courageous defiance against an arrogant and insolent tyranny.

About time the Democratic Spring came to Africa.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 4, 2005 3:21 PM
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