The Group of Eight rich nations currently meeting in Japan agreed Tuesday to impose stiffer sanctions on Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and the entire leadership of the ruling ZANU-PF government. The group said it did not accept the legitimacy of Mugabe’s administration, adding that the Harare government does not represent the wishes of the ordinary Zimbabwean after the main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the June 27 presidential run-off. But some African leaders sharply disagreed with the sanctions saying it would not help to resolve the ongoing economic and political crisis in Zimbabwe.
Critics of President Mugabe have reportedly expressed outrage at the refusal of African leaders to back the G8-targeted sanctions on the Mugabe administration.
Busani Ncube is the logistics director of the Bulawayo project, a non-governmental organization in Zimbabwe’s commercial capital. He tells reporter Peter Clottey that Zimbabweans are in support of the G8 sanctions on President Mugabe.
“Zimbabweans generally support any action against the Mugabe regime for Mugabe to start respecting and to start to take the people of Zimbabwe serious and accept to negotiate on equal basis with the opposition. They are supporting any move or decision taken by the G8 leaders to impose further sanctions on the leadership of ZANU-PF and the government. And they are very clear that they understand that these sanctions are targeted sanctions at ZANU-PF cronies and Mugabe,” Ncube noted.
He said Zimbabweans are outraged at some African leaders for failing to back the G8 sanctions on the ruling ZANU-PF leadership.
“We are very disappointed with some African leaders who seem willing to postpone the Zimbabwe crisis. It seem they are celebrating the crisis that the Zimbabweans are going through. We are disappointed about their failure to take a decisive action at the just ended AU (African Union) summit, and we think that it is high time for the leaders to really be hard on Mugabe,” he said.
Ncube described as unfortunate the unity of purpose and solidarity exhibited by some African leaders on the Zimbabwe crisis.
“This African brotherhood to say we are supporting or brother in Africa is not helping the Zimbabwe cause this is what gives Mugabe the power to brutalize Zimbabweans, to rig the elections because he knows that the African leaders would not do anything to him,” Ncube pointed out.
He said targeted sanctions against President Mugabe and the top leadership of the ruling ZANU-PF party has taken a toll on the Harare government.
“I think they have helped. Remember, if you can listen very well to ZANU-PF talks, they talk about the MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) the opposition campaigning for the lifting of the sanctions. It seem they (ruling party) really feel these sanctions, and I think further sanctions will put pressure on Mugabe to be serious in negotiations with the opposition,” he said.
Ncube said some Zimbabweans in the rural areas are still being assaulted.
“Yes, the violence is still ongoing. In fact now, ZANU-PF tugs are targeting MDC members and they are saying you are celebrating before the elections thinking that you were going to win, but now we are back in power we want to discipline you for what you have done. We have reported violence in the rural areas and people are being brutalized, violence is still going on especially in the rural areas,” Ncube noted.