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Scandinavian countries want Mugabe’s resignation

Current situation aggravated by pride

Scandinavian countries including Iceland, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden have added their voice to calls for the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe to resign.

In a statement released Friday, December 19, and endorsed by the Foreign Ministers of the said countries, and highly circulated in Nordic media outlets, the latter, accused Mugabe of being responsible for the current impasse and “grave humanitarian situation” in that country.

According to them, there is need to put “….an end to the misrule of Robert Mugabe and of the disrespect for democratic principles and human rights - which are core issues underlying the Nordic engagement and support for the liberation struggles in southern Africa,".

The Nordic countries reputed for their peaceful nature, believe the government of Zimbabwe is responsible for what they described as the “tragic situation in the country”

The call of these countries comes on the heels of that of the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who initiated the move. President Nicolas Sarkozy of France, George Bush of USA, the Kenya Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, the President of Botswana and a handful of others have made semilar calls.

However, the South African Regional grouping, SADC, has called for restrain and dialogue. This position has also been supported by the African Union and Thabo Mbeki, former President of South Africa, appointed by SADC to mediate in the imbroglio which erupted after Tshangari bowed out of the second round elections on claims that his supporters were being attacked.

Meeting in Yaoundé, Cameroon recently, the Council for the Development of Social Research in Africa CODESRIA also criticised the use of any force as has been insinuated by some western countries.

While supporters of the embattled Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tshangari, of the Movement for Democratic Change MDC, accused Mugabe of stalling the talks, supporters of Mugabe and some independent analysts have blamed Tshangari for constantly leaving the talks to consult his advisers who are said to be Britain and USA from whom Mugabe claims to be preventing a re-colonisation of his country.

In an interview with Abou Ammar, a Palestinian Masters Global Journalism student in the Orebro University Sweden, he described Mugabe as a hero who is painted evil by Western government and media. According to him, the west has dramatised the situation in Zimbabwe and are determined to crucify Muagbe. He regretted that Al Jazeera television which shows “good things” about Zimbabwe and Mugabe is not received in most homes in Africa.

Robert Ngu Ngomesia, a Master graduate in Computer Engineering says “the West are against Mugabe and not necessarily against the Zimbabwean people”. According to him, Mugabe should step down for the sake of the country. He however stresses “even though Mugabe is a strong fighter, let him think of his people now and step down.”

Robert holds that the sanctions on Zimbabwe have missed the target and “we are in a situation where neither Mugabe nor the West will want to be dragged in the mud” he says. While the West wants to maintain sanctions, Mugabe too wants to hang on and defy them. “The issue at stake now is pride” Roberts concludes.

Njang Joseph, a PhD student in USA describes Mugabe as a “bad guy like most African dictators” who should go but, he emphasizes that, for African countries to accept the use of any kind of force, will be the worst mistake ever, for any violence will spill to other countries in the region.

Mugabe, a long time friend with the West became an enemy when he began the redistribution to black Zimbabweans, of formerly exclusively white-owned farm land. The former had been deprived of most fertile land during the colonial era. The redistribution which was described as disorganised was speeded when Britain refused to continue funding it as had been agreed during the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement which paved the way for the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, with Robert Mugabe as its pioneer president.

Mugabe says Zimbabwe is his and only the people of Zimbabwe will put him down. “Let Britain be for the British and Zimbabwe for Zimbabweans” he said during a rally of his ruling ZANU-PF party recently.

By Aloysius Agendia

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