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By: Chris MADONDO – Political Correspondent

THE year 2008 has ended with the Zimbabwe political crisis remaining unresolved. The political quagmire in this Southern African nation has generated diverse reactions from the International Community. What is not debatable, however, and should not be further politicised is the critical condition of the nation’s socio-economic and political life, now burdened with the cholera outbreak which has killed an estimated 1,600 people according to media reports.

Zanu-PF always points an accusing finger to the West for what
they see as its interference in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe,
particularly its perceived partisanship in the wake of the government’s land redistribution reforms aimed to favour the blacks.

I for one, put the blame on Robert Mugabe, under whose rule Zimbabwe  has witnessed a blatant abuse of power and gross human rights abuses. Mugabe and his greedy government have only ended up plunging the country into a deep crisis with the poor suffering the most.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Zimbabwe has the shortest life expectancy of 37 years for men and 34 years for women; and at 25 per cent, the one with the highest percentage of orphans in the world. Inflation is now running into trillions.

African leaders must not allow this sad situation to go on unchecked since it is directly related to the nation’s turbulent political run. Our country Zimbabwe came close to peace when opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) won the first round of voting in the last presidential election but refused to take part in the run-off for alleged intimidation. He later accepted the power-sharing deal negotiated by former South African President Thabo Mbeki.

It is, indeed, sad that Mugabe himself has not done much to allay the fears
about his design to perpetuate his tenure. Instead he has declared with an
air of authority that ”Zimbabwe is mine!” That is a bad categorical statement from a man who claims to have waged a guerrilla war to emancipate his people.

At 84 years of age and having been in power for almost three decades,
Mugabe cannot claim monopoly of wisdom in the leadership of Zimbabwe. The country cannot survive under the shadow of Mugabe’s past honours. He needs to give up power now.

As we respect the sovereignty of our country and our right to
self-determination, no one has the right to mismanage the country’s
chances of recovery and expect the rest of the world to fold its arms.

Zimbabwe’s ugly political and economic situation and the poor conditions of
its citizens transcend narrow and sentimental considerations. The human
family should save it from total collapse.