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Zimbabweans Call for International Peacekeeping Intervention

Zimbabweans who have been scarred by weeks of ongoing violence that is causing significant loss of lives and property are reportedly calling for the intervention of an international peacekeeping force to end the spree. This comes after the international community widely condemned the upheaval. As opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai sought refuge at the Dutch Embassy in the capital, Harare, diplomats branded President Robert Mugabe’s government as “illegitimate.”

Partisans of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) reportedly said the life of party leader Tsvangirai is in grave danger after he pulled out of this week’s presidential election run-off. But the ruling ZANU-PF government dismissed the accusation and describes Tsvangirai as a coward. Busani Ncube is the logistics director of the Bulawayo project, a non-governmental organization in Zimbabwe’s commercial capital. From Bulawayo, he tells reporter Peter Clottey that the time for military intervention is long overdue.

“The people of Zimbabwe have had enough, and they have suffered enough already. They don’t want the international community to only talk about Zimbabwe to put pressure on Mugabe, but they now want action to be taken against this regime, as we need peacekeepers in Zimbabwe. This is what the people of Zimbabwe expect at this hour of need,” Ncube pointed out.

He said there was need for the international community to intervene, even if President Mugabe’s administration resists any offers to relieve the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans.

“Here we are talking about the lives of the people. We are talking about the humanitarian crisis. It is no longer about the abuse of human rights. It is about the humanitarian crisis and the lives of the people and the future of this country. I think the SADC (Southern African Development Community) and the AU (African Union) should force themselves. They should check Zimbabwe seriously and they should hold Mugabe accountable to what is happening in Zimbabwe,” he noted.

Ncube said the international community should rebuke what he described as unfortunate government tactics of violence and intimidation.

“The international community should rebuke the government and tell Mugabe in no uncertain terms that this is enough and unacceptable, and they should immediately send peacekeepers in Zimbabwe with or without the approval of Mugabe,” Ncube said.

He said the ruling ZANU-PF party was taken by surprise after the opposition decided not to be part of this Friday’s presidential election run-off.

“I think ZANU-PF is shocked as to what the decision of the opposition had taken so far. They wanted the opposition to remain in the poll so that the MDC will legitimize this illegitimate election, an election that was predetermined. What the opposition has done has thrown ZANU-PF’s rigging plan into disarray, and it has shown that ZANU-PF was determined to rig this election. So, I think they are very, very much confused,” he said.

Ncube said partisans of the opposition fear the life of Morgan Tsvangirai is in danger.

“I think Tsvangirai’s life is in danger because of this decision to pull out of the election, which is causing confusion in the camp of the ruling ZANU-PF. I also fear for the lives of Tsvangirai and other pro-democracy activists in the country,” Ncube pointed out.

He said the ruling party would continue with the run-off despite the opposition’s refusal to be part of the election.

“I think ZANU-PF will continue with this election. They will use the opposition’s decision to say they are at an advanced stage of this election, and so the election is going to go on. And they will force people in the rural areas to go and vote and try to say Tsvangirai did not pull out of the election so the election will go ahead and ZANU-PF will win, and they will declare themselves the winner after going through the poll,” he noted.