a citizen’s journal by Thomas Nephew

Zimbabwe: enough is enough

Posted by Thomas Nephew on April 11th, 2008

Via the Flickr “Democracy in Action” photo pool, I ran across a blog by Zimbabweans called “This is Zimbabwe” this evening.

The blog is run by Sokwanele, described as a “popular underground movement in Zimbabwe” in Wikipedia. Sokwanele means “enough is enough”; it appears to be credible enough for many news organizations seeking up-to-date information about the situation in Zimbabwe.

The blog reports that in the wake of the recent election — which the opposition appears to have won, but which Mugabe is seeking to undo via a run-off — Mugabe’s police have resumed their practice of vicious beatings of opposition voters and party members; a photo of one of the victims, taken yesterday, is on the right. The group also maintains a map of election conditions across Zimbabwe. The legend includes symbols for murder, food supply, political violence, and abduction, to name a few.

The latest development is that Zambian government has called for a weekend meeting of the SADC, a Southern African regional group, to discuss the crisis, and that both elected leader Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe will attend. Sokwanele requests that supporters of human rights and democracy politely contact a number of official e-mail addresses in the Zambian government, the South African government, and the SADC, and tell them that “Zimbabweans have the right to live in a democratic, free and peaceful country…. we voted for change, we got change, and we want change now.”

It seems like a small enough request by people who deserve the support of decent people everywhere. We may have our own house to clean up here in the United States, but we can surely spare a moment to help our friends elsewhere too.

SEE ALSO other posts about Zimbabwe at this site.
UPDATE, 4/11: African history scholar and professor Timothy Burke has forgotten more than I’ll ever know about Zimbabwe, so for continued coverage that’s a better place to go than here; the link leads to a discussion of a recent NYTimes op-ed. Burke thinks Mugabe’s security apparatus — that is, not necessarily Mugabe — is what’s really in control of the Zimbabwean government. Via Jim Henley.
UPDATE, 4/11: An online petition via will be presented to South African president Thabo Mbeki when he visits the UN next week. Mbeki is considered one of the few people who might have influence on Mugabe.

We sign to support the democratic and human rights of the people of Zimbabwe. Election results must be released immediately, verified independently, and–if approved as legitimate–accepted by all parties. If a run-off is required, it should be monitored by international observers and be kept free of violence, fraud, and intimidation. World leaders, including South African President Thabo Mbeki, should do all they can to ensure a just result.

UPDATE, 4/12: Two makes a blogswarm! Nell Lancaster (“A Lovely Promise”) notes Mbeki’s incredible “no crisis” statement, under a title that says it all: “Let them know they’re not alone“.
UPDATE, 4/14: General strike tomorrow. More at American Street, where Nell’s title gets another blog home.

4 Responses to “Zimbabwe: enough is enough”

  1. Nell Says:

    IÂ?m struggling to write this because I am angry, I feel sick, and yes, I am crying over my keyboard.
    Mbeki, after going to Harare to see Mugabe, says today that there is Â?no crisisÂ?Â?
    I cannot believe I am so upset – again – because whenever I know Thabo Mbeki is about to meet to discuss anything to do with the Zimbabwean crisis, I steel myself for extreme disappointment. He never fails to deliver, so why do I stupidly, even when I expect it, feel dumbfounded when it comes?!

    It’s all too easy to empathize with a href=”″>this feeling.
    But how much more devastating it is when the result of the letdown from supposed “allies” is immediate risk to human life safety, as well as the life and death of democratic government in one’s country. My heart is in my throat.
    Off to act on the suggestions passed along in your post.

  2. Nell Says:

    Screwed up the link, sorry:
    this feeling

  3. Thomas Nephew Says:

    Yes, just about every time I read about Mbeki in the news, it’s bad news — HIV/AIDS, Zimbabwe. The guy is an ignorant hack.

  4. » Blog Archive » Department of followups: obliteration, Altstoetter, UPDATE: Zimbabwe Says:

    […] Zimbabwe: enough is enough, April 10, 2008 — The repression of Zimbabweans following their election of Morgan Tsvangirai (contested by Robert Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party and state apparatus) continues unabated — but so far at least without the logistical resupply of a ship full of weapons sold by China to the Zimbabwean government. The An Yue Jiang was not allowed to dock in South Africa, Namibia or Angola — generally thanks to union activism in those countries.But Nell Lancaster (“A Lovely Promise”) points to a recent article at Sokwanele *** alerting readers that the government of Malawi may be the weak link in the chain of refusals to allow the ship to offload its deadly cargo. As the Sokawanele author Hope puts it, the case is important because (a) political violence in Zimbabwe continues, (b) the case has proven to be something people outside Zimbabwe can get involved in, and (c)… it is also forcing countries in the region to ‘nail their colours to the mast’, so to speak. In the open glare of the public eye, this story shows us which nations are concerned for the safety of the Zimbabwean people, and which ones are more concerned with the loyalty to the Zanu PF regime. […]

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