Zenawi endorses Mugabe at African summit – By Qeerransoo Biyyaa , Sudan Tribune

July 2nd, 2008 Print Print Email Email

I was not surprised but a little shocked to watch on CNN Zimbabwe’s de facto president, Robert G. Mugabe, hurling insults at journalists, who were trying to interview him at the African Union Summit in Egypt.

Mugabe shouted, “You British IDIOTS go away from me!”. His own spokesperson also addressed the media saying, ’’the West should go and hang a thousand times”. (more…)

I was not surprised but a little shocked to watch on CNN Zimbabwe’s de facto president, Robert G. Mugabe, hurling insults at journalists, who were trying to interview him at the African Union Summit in Egypt.

Mugabe shouted, “You British IDIOTS go away from me!”. His own spokesperson also addressed the media saying, ’’the West should go and hang a thousand times”. Answering the question “Is President Mugabe well accepted by his African peers?”, Mugabe’s spokes person said Ethiopia endorses/accepts Mr Mugabe very well. What a revelation!

What this endorsement exposes is that Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe and Ethiopia’s Prime Minister are illegitimate leaders that cling to power by the use of brute force. They snatched the will of their people many times at the polls and pronounced themselves over their peoples as leaders. It is very shocking to see killers like Mugabe and Meles Zenawi, holding the Holy Bible in their bloody hands while being sworn in.

Traits that Mugabe and Zenawi have in common:

- both are dictators, who rigged votes and forced oppositions to pull out of elections;
- both ordered mass murders and ethnic-cleansing;
- both control the media and allow no press freedom;
- Mugabe is at 28 years in power and Zenawi is 17 years in power (Zenawi is soon to catch up age wise);
- arrogant and irresponsible use of language when addressing the media;
- two of the heavy armies on the continent of Africa;
- famine is hitting the masses of both countries hard;
- both set strong precedent for other leaders in denying democracy in Africa;
- both have potential to harbor terrorists;
- supplying weapons to both regimes can maybe eventually counter-productive as it was in Afghanstan.

The west must watch out for Prime Minster Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia as much as they do for Mugabe. Otherwise, differential treatments/ coverage would make the west look like they have agenda in Zimbabwe. This is exactly what the sophist rhetoric from the entourages of the Mugabe regime would like the world to believe; they would like the world to believe Mr. Mugabe is a born ’anti-imperialist power’ in Africa.

The truth of the matter, however, is that both Mugabe and Zenawi are birds of the same feather as dictators and they should receive the same treatment. Powerful western nations should consistently adopt a mono-standard towards all dictators who hide under different rhetoric.

Zenawi, for example, hides under rhetoric of ‘fighting terrorism’ while in reality he just wants to extend his tyranny over the peoples in Ethiopian without being questioned by the major world powers. On the other hand, Mugabe, hides under a very popular rhetoric of ’anti-imperialism and colonization’ amongst African dictators. This is the reason leaders in Southern Africa, have been reluctant to openly criticize Mugabe’s regime. It is easy to underestimate the role that this rhetoric would play in unifying African dictators, but the effect is far-reaching and frustrating. To effectively isolate the two dictators, it takes looking seriously beyond their rhetoric.

I do underscore that the endorsement Ethiopia is giving Mugabe as witnessed by his spokesperson, is revealing the many similarities the two regimes have in common. The danger is that Mugabe has a potential of destabilizing the Southern Africa region while Zenawi has already been destabilizing the Horn of Africa region. To overcome this, it is only fair to adopt a uniform parameter of isolating and sanctioning dictators.

The author is based in Ethiopia. He can be reached at meettaa@gmail.com

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