Monday, December 08, 2008
UK plotting against Zimbabwe: Mugabe spokesman
Written by MacDonald Dzirutwe
Monday, December 08, 2008 5:22:41 PM
HARARE (Reuters) - Zimbabwe's government has accused former colonial ruler Britain of using a cholera epidemic to rally Western support for an invasion of the collapsing southern African nation, a state-run newspaper said on Sunday.
President Robert Mugabe is under mounting pressure from the international community, especially Western nations which accuse him of ruining the once prosperous country and exposing its people to famine and disease.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has branded Mugabe's government a "blood-stained regime" and said it was responsible for the cholera epidemic that has killed at least 575 people. The world must tell Mugabe "enough is enough," he said.
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Friday the veteran leader's departure from office was long overdue. On Sunday she repeated this assessment and said she and British Foreign Secretary David Miliband had discussed by telephone what to do about it.
The growing Western criticism signaled a plot to oust Mugabe's government militarily, Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba said.
"I don't know what this mad prime minister (Brown) is talking about. He is asking for an invasion of Zimbabwe ... but he will come unstuck," Charamba told the state-controlled Sunday Mail.
The government often blames Britain and other Western nations for Zimbabwe's meltdown, saying sanctions against Mugabe and his inner circle have sabotaged the economy. [That's not true - sanctions go way beyond 'Mugabe and his inner circle', see section 4.c of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, named 'Multilateral Financing Restriction', which list the number of international financial institutions which are banned from providing loans and financing for the government,
(c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- Until the President makes the certification described in subsection (d), and except as may be required to meet basic human needs or for good governance, the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--
(1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or
(2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.
SEC. 3. DEFINITIONS.
In this Act:
(1) INTERNATIONAL FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS- The term `international financial institutions' means the multilateral development banks and the International Monetary Fund.
(2) MULTILATERAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS- The term `multilateral development banks' means the
International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the
International Development Association, the
International Finance Corporation, the
Inter-American Development Bank, the
Asian Development Bank, the
Inter-American Investment Corporation, the
African Development Bank, the
African Development Fund, the
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the
Multilateral Investment Guaranty Agency.
not 'Mugabe and his inner circle', which is an MDC lie to keep them from taking blame for the effect of these and other sanctions; also Rice and the rhodesian Millibrand are not ones to talk about human rights; let them bring electricity back to Iraq first - MrK]
In Washington, Rice told ABC's "This Week" program that she was "appalled" at the international community's inability to deal with "tyrants" such as Mugabe.
[This is the same Condoleezza Rice who went out shopping for shoes when her fellow African Americans were drowning in New Orleans and dying of exposure on a bridge; I would say her 'concern' for people is legendary - MrK]
"We are now seeing it, I think, in a very, very sad way in Zimbabwe, where Robert Mugabe should have gone a long time ago," Rice said. "And we can't seem to mobilize the international will to do it.
"I am going to continue to try to press in the international community. I even talked with my British colleague, David Miliband, just this morning about trying to see what we can do to get a renewed push to have this solved."
African nations are also growing more uncomfortable with Mugabe, though some still view the 84-year-old as a hero of Africa's liberation era.
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga on Sunday repeated a previous call for Mugabe to step down and urged the African Union to hold an emergency summit to formulate a resolution to send troops into Zimbabwe to deal with the crisis.
"We must not fail the dying people of Zimbabwe in this hour of their greatest need ... we must assist them to end this vile dictatorship, we must beg them not to despair," Odinga told a news conference in Nairobi.
[This is the same Raila Odinga who came to power in elections which saw 1,500 Kenyans left for dead, making the elections in Zimbabwe seem uneventful in comparison. His feigned concern for the 500 cholera victims in Zimbabwe (but not in Zambia)is not exactly credibly - not credible as he is supporting an invasion which will kill far more - MrK]
Botswanan Foreign Minister Phandu Skelemani and South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a Nobel peace laureate, have also called for Mugabe's removal.
[Time to revoke 'yippeeee''s peace price - MrK]
"There is bitter disappointment in the current leadership," former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, a Ghanaian, said in a statement issued by the Elders, a group of prominent figures that includes ex-U.S. President Jimmy Carter and Tutu.
"This government has not demonstrated the ability to lead the country out of its current crisis," said Annan, who along with Carter and Graca Machel, the wife of Nelson Mandela, was denied entry to Zimbabwe last month on a humanitarian visit.
Archbishop of York John Sentamu agreed but went further, writing in Britain's Observer newspaper that "Mugabe and his henchmen" should face trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague. "The time to remove them from power has come."
[There is more than enough space in The Hague - it would be very interesting to try Roy Bennett, David whatsit and all the other rhodesians who are part of the MDC - no one has yet been put on trial for the war crimes committed during the Smith regime - MrK]
Douglas Alexander, Britain's international development minister, said on Sunday it was important Africans led the opposition to Mugabe's government. "Now is the time for Africa to stand up and be counted," he said.
[Yes, stand up and tell Britain to f-off - MrK]
Zimbabwe is on the verge of collapse. Food stocks are running out, unemployment is above 80 percent and prices double every 24 hours. The health system is in tatters, unable to treat many of those infected with cholera.
[Time to end sanctions - MrK]
The epidemic has forced Zimbabwe to declare a national emergency and appeal for foreign help. Britain is among European nations that have promised aid. South Africa, Zimbabwe's richest neighbor, has also pledged aid.
The European Union is considering imposing new sanctions
[Apparently not enough people have died of cholera? You can't try to overthrow a government and install lackeys, and then blame the effect of sanctions on the present government - MrK]
on Zimbabwe next week unless progress is made in breaking the deadlock between Mugabe and the opposition MDC over how to implement a power-sharing deal.