Our world has no shortage of brutal dictators (a phrase that itself seems redundant). Among the most increasingly ruthless tyrants is Robert Mugabe — once the liberator of Zimbabwe from white colonialism, now the scourge of its black citizens. Reporting from Harare on July 22, the Daily Telegraph of London wrote: "Armed riot police and youth militia of Zimbabwe's ruling Zanu PF Party are rounding up homeless people who have sought refuge in church compounds." The homeless are mostly children, who are herded in the freezing cold night to rural locations and out of the reach of hope.
They are among the more than 700,000 victims of Robert Mugabe's "Operation Restore Order" that — as the July 24 International Herald Tribune reports — has bulldozed "shacks, workshops and market stalls across Zimbabwe's urban center." (Many of the now-homeless adults in such neighborhoods voted against Mugabe in the last government-rigged election.) ....
A July 7 front-page story in the Financial Times began: "Kofi Annan yesterday urged African leaders to break their silence over actions by governments, such as Zimbabwe's, that were undermining the continent's credibility in the eyes of the world." The U.N. secretary-general emphasized: "What is lacking on the continent is (a willingness) to comment on wrong policies in a neighboring country."
But in the same article, Olusegun Obasanjo, president of Nigeria and presently the chairman of the African Union, defiantly said he would "not be a part" of any public condemnation of Mugabe.
Moreover, as The New York Times reported on July 6: "Tanzania, Namibia and Zambia are among those (African nations) that have praised Mr. Mugabe's economic policies in recent months," or even more appallingly, "have stopped protesters from criticizing them."
Also insistently silent on the rampant ferocity of the Mugabe regime is Thabo Mbeki, president of South Africa, who has long claimed he is pursuing "quiet diplomacy" in his dealings with Mugabe. ....
They have also been abandoned by the justly venerated Nelson Mandela, who has marred his autumnal years by refusing to say a word in criticism of Mugabe.