A cross section of Zimbabweans
advocating military action against President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF government
had their hopes dashed after the leader of South Africa's ruling party
dismissed the move as untenable. African National Congress leader Jacob Zuma
said he is sharply opposed to a military solution to the Zimbabwe crisis. Zuma
contends that there is no war in Zimbabwe that warrants military intervention.
He advocates rather a deep diplomatic push by ZANU-PF and the main opposition
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to form a unity government to resolve the
country's economic and political crisis. Political analyst Glen Mpani tells
reporter Peter Clottey that Zimbabweans are demanding solutions to the
think his (Zuma) comments that he opposes military action in Zimbabwe are views
that are shared commonly by not only regional leaders, but also even Zimbabweans
themselves. I think Zimbabweans and particularly the MDC have committed
themselves to a peaceful resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis," Mpani noted.
said there was need for the leader of South Africa's ruling party to help
resolve the Zimbabwe crisis.
while he (Zuma) is expressing his disagreement with military action in
Zimbabwe, he as a leader of the ruling party in South Africa and president in
waiting should be providing options to say, if we are not using the military
option, what are we going to use? What is the leverage that we have against the
Zimbabwe government? Because it does not help to be discrediting options that
are being put on the table while not providing an alternative. So he has to
provide an alternative to say how are we going to put pressure on the ZANU-PF
government to come to the negotiating table
and accept the demands that are being put forth for a proper and an
all-inclusive power-sharing agreement," he said.
said Zimbabweans seem to be tired of the escalation of the country's crisis.
currently are desperate, and if you are to ask them to say what they would hope
for, the level of desperation you see in the country might have public opinion
possibly shifting towards a more firm intervention in the country. But if one
looks at it in terms of countries where military interventions have taken
place, it would not be advisable for military action to take place, but for
democratic processes to be used to force the Zimbabwe government to adopt an
accommodative approach in this arrangement," Mpani pointed out.
said using the military option against President Mugabe's administration would
not be in the interest of most Zimbabweans.
all know what would happen in a military intervention. And this might as well
play into the ZANU-PF hands because such an environment would create a reason
and a justification that plays into the ZANU-PF propaganda that there are
external forces that are fighting against them. So I don't think that would be
advisable," he said.
said although there seems to be no ongoing war in Zimbabwe, the suffering of
the masses warrants some form of intervention to help resolve the crisis.
is no war like the type of war that Jacob Zuma is accustomed to, where guns are
blazing in the streets of Harare. But there is a humanitarian war in Zimbabwe,
where people are dying of cholera, where there are food shortages, and where
there are day to day high levels of inflation. And where there are human rights
abuses, and where activists are being abducted. And I don't know any other war
than the one that the people of Zimbabwe are in today. So if you are talking
about war where guns are blazing in Zimbabwe, yes, there is no war. But the
people of Zimbabwe have reached a point where they don't even know what they
are going to be eating tomorrow. So that in itself, I think, is war enough to
warrant regional and international intervention in resolving the crisis in
Zimbabwe," Mpani pointed out.