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 escalating crisis.
"I 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.
He said there was need for the leader of South Africa's ruling party to help resolve the Zimbabwe crisis.
"But 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.
Mpani said Zimbabweans seem to be tired of the escalation of the country's crisis.
"Zimbabweans 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.
He said using the military option against President Mugabe's administration would not be in the interest of most Zimbabweans.
"We 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.
Mpani 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.
"There 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.