Mbeki defends stance on Zimbabwe

Thabo Mbeki

Thabo Mbeki

Nduduzo Tshuma, Political Editor
FORMER South Africa President Thabo Mbeki has said the British policy of seeking illegal regime change in Zimbabwe is not for the benefit of the local majority but to serve the interests of the former colonial master’s kith and kin.

Mr Mbeki, who brokered the Global Political Agreement (GPA) in 2009 which ushered in the Inclusive Government that ran up to 2013, said the British joined the chorus of criticising South Africa for “quiet” diplomacy on Zimbabwe as part of its regime change agenda.

“So you are not surprised when the UK continues to pay this particular attention to Zimbabwe, their paying attention to Zimbabwe is not because they are interested in the future of Zimbabwe but because they are interested in the welfare of their kith and kin. That’s what drove the British policy in Zimbabwe,” he said during a talk show with a South African radio station on Thursday night.

Mr Mbeki insisted that the stance South Africa took on Zimbabwe at the time was to allow the country to solve its own problems.

“In the context of resolving the conflict there (Zimbabwe), the view we took then which I would still hold on to today, it really is the responsibility of the people of Zimbabwe to determine their future, it’s the responsibility of the people of South Africa to determine our future,” said Mr Mbeki.

He said South Africa refused to be pressured to apply external force on Zimbabwe because they believed that domestic problems needed domestic solutions.

Mr Mbeki dismissed claims that South Africa, which was assisted by Zimbabwe to get its Independence did not do much in terms of intervention after the inconclusive 2008 elections.

“They talk about things that cannot be compared. An apartheid South Africa is very different from an independent Zimbabwe. You say you want to impose sanctions against apartheid of course you can, of course you must but to resolve a problem among the Zimbabweans in independent Zimbabwe, our view was and remains, let the people of Zimbabwe get together and sort out this thing among themselves,” said Mr Mbeki.

“Particularly because, given among other things, all my experience tells me, an external solution that gets imposed on the people, when something goes wrong, the locals won’t take ownership of it, they will say this thing is not ours.

“To make an agreement stick and so on you have to get the owners of the problem to own the solution and that’s what we said to Zimbabwe. In the end they entered into negotiations which we facilitated and they concluded what we called the Global Political Agreement.”

Mr Mbeki said they insisted that the solutions on Zimbabwe at the time would not come from any other place but Zimbabwe by Zimbabweans much to the chagrin of Britain and her allies.

“The problem we had, the reason you have this funny argument that we resorted to quiet diplomacy, diplomacy is diplomacy, once you campaign on a platform it’s no longer diplomacy but a political campaign. For instance the reason the British joined that chorus is because they wanted regime change,” he said.

Mr Mbeki said Zimbabwe, South Africa, Algeria and Kenya had the biggest white European settler populations on the content.

“You still had a significant number of white people in Zimbabwe after Independence.

“Part of the argument used by Margaret Thatcher, when she was against the imposition of sanctions against the (Ian) Smith regime, was that, ‘we have a lot of kith and kin in Zimbabwe. If we impose sanctions which actually work, you will then get a half of a million or a quarter of a million Zimbabweans or whatever emigrating to England and suddenly we will be landed with a large refugee population coming from Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia).’

“This was Margaret Thatcher’s argument. ‘And we don’t want to do that and therefore that is why we don’t want to impose sanctions.’ It was the same argument when Smith declared that UDI in 1965. The Prime Minister of the UK at the time was Harold Wilson of the Labour party and again the Africans took the position that this was a rebellion against the British Crown and wherever you had a rebellion against the British crown, the British crown has responded in order to suppress rebellion and let that happen to Zimbabwe. The argument of the British government at the time was this is kith and kin.”

Pin It
  • Brutal Truth

    A man who folds his hands & blocks his ears while his neighbour beats his children to death is not a good man

    • Lux

      Hear hear

      • maqhawe ka zulu

        Unless and untill the people of Zimbabwe acknowledge that most of their problems are self inflicted we are going nowhere. First, people must realise when Zimbabwe became independent in 1980 they chose Zanu and Mugabe over Zapu and Mkomo, and for the subsequent decades they gave lip service when the tyrrany established a tribal ethinic divide and rule policy which was a spring board to masacre the Ndebele people, at the same time zimbabwe turned into an ‘animal farm’ system. The once bread basket economy was plundered with impunity and reduced to unimaginable standards and mind you Mugabe was not always resorting to coersion but has
        has always been taking advantage of the vulnarability of masses who for the known reasons lack some degree of political consciousness. General elections have been rigged, or people are forced to support Zanu, I don’t know but what I have become to acknowlegde is that there is a large part of our society who, if I may suggest give a false credibility to a so called democracy in Zimbabwe, (zanu pf interpretation ofcourse). These people always throng Zanu rallies in their thousands to confirm their allegiance and without fail come elections they vote their party and the living Zombie back to power, and when things get tough the same people cross borders to seek refuge and in turn expect foreigners to correct their own mess. I am not a big fun of Thabo Mbeki but what he is saying here whether we like it or not its a fact. We messed up thinking that taka chenjera yet we are the dummiest people in the whole world. Shame on you maZimbabwe. Here are the initial steps to solve Zimbabwe’s political and economic problems, first, get rid of tribalism, nepotism,regionalism and once that is achieved Zanu pf and corruption will be sent to oblivion. I zanu injengentwala ihlala lapha okulencekeza khona, once our society re- establish ‘mwana wevhu/umntwana wenhlabathi’ identity and become blind to identify each other as Shona or Ndebele, then and at that point we will reclaim A true Zimbabwe.

        • QINISO

          What you are proposing is impossible. The Shona people believe the country belongs to them and them only as a tribe; everyone else is an invader. Therefore national unity of purpose will never happen in the land between the two rivers. Shona people only emphasise the time they have been on the land in comparison to other tribes and races; and completely ignore the fact that their ancestors also came from the north/east of Africa. This historical narrative is convenient for them, so they can claim ownership of the country above everyone else.

          The part of our history on Bantu migration to the South, which also includes them is always deliberately ignored for the sake of convenience. For that reason, they have today modeled our country on Shona cultural values, beliefs and aspirations – totally different from the country we knew as Rhodesia when we grew up, where at least all of us as Black people were equal in both word and deed. The country’s name is Shona and is unrepresentative of everyone else, including even the indigenous Khoisan/Basarwa people of Southern Africa, who are indeed the true owners of this country.

          This is the crux of the divisions that have perpetuated misrule in our country . We dont want to allow each other space to be who we are culturally and linguistically, as you would find in South African provinces and regions – and even in Kenya these days. We want to impose ourselves on each other based on a fathom history and concocted majority numbers and the fact that we are free to settle anywhere and everywhere, because this is our country. We dont want to respect each other in our own homes and regions. How can you expect unity under such circumstances? This is why every one continues to pull in different directions. This is why the tribe of the individual who aspires to be President is so important, hence the divisions in ZANU PF itself.

          Dr Nkosana Moyo was recently rubbished and not given a chance as a Presidential aspirant simply on the basis of his name “Nkosana”; without even knowing he was actually Karanga from Belingwe/Mberengwa. You will note that since it became known that he is Karanga, the tribal onslaught has somewhat died down in many media debates about his candidature. What kind of a country is this?

          The call for Mbeki or South Africa’s intervention is an act of desperation by a people who fail to diagnose their ills; a people who prefer to sweep difficult issues under the carpet and refuse to face reality but would rather pretend certain issues dont exist and are not the cause or partly the cause of their problems. They simply expect this to just work out. It will never happen!!

        • Boitumelo Mofokeng

          Yo Not only iz dis here sheeit too long ta read, it’s also very empty. deez is empty rumblings resembling noise from an old vinyl disc dat iz scratched an’ iz repeating da same part ova an’ ova Ya’ dig?

          • zibulo

            trying to divert , you wont win . why read long postings then ? read yours .

          • Boitumelo Mofokeng

            Divert must be a word that you just discovered and fascinated about.

          • zibulo

            still looking for your contribution so far nothing!!! got time on your hands man

          • Boitumelo Mofokeng

            Yo Still looking, looking where?? Keep on looking then!!
            What contribution? Whose contribution? Contribution meant fo’ who?
            What tyme, which tyme??
            What hands, whose hands?? , wOrd!

      • maqhawe ka zulu

        Unless and untill the people of Zimbabwe acknowledge that most of their problems are self inflicted we are going nowhere. First, people must realise when Zimbabwe became independent in 1980 they chose Zanu and Mugabe over Zapu and Mkomo, and for the subsequent decades they gave lip service when the tyrrany established a tribal ethinic divide and rule policy which was a spring board to masacre the Ndebele people, at the same time zimbabwe turned into an ‘animal farm’ system. The once bread basket economy was plundered with impunity and reduced to unimaginable standards and mind you Mugabe was not always resorting to coersion but has
        has always been taking advantage of the vulnarability of masses who for the known reasons lack some degree of political consciousness. General elections have been rigged, or people are forced to support Zanu, I don’t know but what I have become to acknowlegde is that there is a large part of our society who, if I may suggest give a false credibility to a so called democracy in Zimbabwe, (zanu pf interpretation ofcourse). These people always throng Zanu rallies in their thousands to confirm their allegiance and without fail come elections they vote their party and the living Zombie back to power, and when things get tough the same people cross borders to seek refuge and in turn expect foreigners to correct their own mess. I am not a big fun of Thabo Mbeki but what he is saying here whether we like it or not its a fact. We messed up thinking that taka chenjera yet we are the dummiest people in the whole world. Shame on you maZimbabwe. Here are the initial steps to solve Zimbabwe’s political and economic problems, first, get rid of tribalism, nepotism,regionalism and once that is achieved Zanu pf and corruption will be sent to oblivion. I zanu injengentwala ihlala lapha okulencekeza khona, once our society re- establish ‘mwana wevhu/umntwana wenhlabathi’ identity and become blind to identify each other as Shona or Ndebele, then and at that point we will reclaim A true Zimbabwe.

        • Justified

          Most people among the Shona believe the country belongs to them and them only as a tribe; everyone else is an invader; therefore, national unity of purpose will never happen in the land between the two rivers. Many of them generally speak of long the time they have been on the land in comparison to other tribes and races; and completely ignore the fact that their ancestors also came from the north/east of Africa. This historical narrative is convenient for them, because they then can use it as a justification of their claim to ownership of the country above everyone else.

          The part of our history on Bantu migration to the South, which also includes them is always deliberately ignored for the sake of convenience. For that reason, they have today modeled our country on Shona cultural values, beliefs and aspirations to the total exclusion of every other non-Shona speaking citizens – totally different from the country we knew as Rhodesia when we grew up, where at least all of us as Black people were equal in both word and deed. The country’s name is Shona and is unrepresentative of everyone else, including even the indigenous Khoisan/Basarwa people of Southern Africa, who are indeed the true owners of this country. This is the crux of the divisions that have perpetuated misrule in our country. We dont want to allow each other space to be who we are culturally and linguistically, as you would find in South African provinces and regions – and even in Kenya, Nigeria and many other African countries for that matter. We want to impose ourselves on each other, on the basis of some fathom history and always concocted majority numbers in line with the argument that we are free to settle anywhere and everywhere we choose, because this is our country. We dont want to respect each other in our own regions, provinces or homes. How can you expect unity under such circumstances? This is why everyone continues to pull in different directions in Zimbabwe. This is also why the tribe of the individual who aspires to be President is so important in Zimbabwe; hence the divisions we are witnessing today in ZANU PF itself.

          Dr Nkosana Moyo was recently rubbished and not given a chance as a Presidential aspirant simply on the basis of his name “Nkosana”; without even knowing he was actually Karanga from Belingwe/Mberengwa. You will note that since it became known that he is Karanga, the tribal onslaught on his candidature has somewhat died down in many media debates. What kind of a country is this? The call for Mbeki or South Africa’s intervention is an act of desperation by a people who fail to diagnose their ills; a people who prefer to sweep difficult issues under the carpet and refuse to face reality but would rather pretend certain issues dont exist and are not the cause or partly the cause of their problems. They simply expect this to just work out. It will never happen!!

          • Boitumelo Mofokeng

            Yo Coming up wif such long nonsense be uh sign o’ either too much idle tyme or fascinated by da recent discovery o’ dis here forum. How ’boutacting mature an’ not being uh nuisance on da forum and sheeit.

    • Reality Check

      The Zim problem will never be solved by Zim people alone, because of the racially and triballyy poisoned environment accentuated by the ruling party since 1980. Mr Mbeki doesnt understand this. Had Zim started off in 1980 like the ANC did in 1994 in SA, then I would say yes, its possible for Zims to solve their problems. Zimbabweans are incapable of talking to each other in a civil manner and coming up with fair governance arrangements for all their citizens without outside intervention. Everywhere, anyone who holds a different view is a target of insults and denigration and anything to destroy him comes in handy; even if it is at the cost of future long term national unity and cohesion. This is the problem. Most among the Shona people believe the country belongs to them and them only as a tribe; everyone else is an invader; therefore, national unity of purpose will never happen in the land between the two rivers. Many of them generally speak of the “long the time their ancestors were in this land” in comparison to other tribes and races; and completely ignore the fact that their ancestors also came from the north/east of Africa. This historical narrative is convenient for them, because they then can use it as a justification of their claim to “ownership of the country” above everyone else. The part of our history on Bantu migration to the South, which also includes them is always deliberately ignored for the sake of convenience. For that reason alone, they have today modeled our country on Shona cultural values, beliefs and aspirations to the total exclusion of all the other non-Shona speaking citizens – it is now totally different from the country we grew up in as Rhodesia, where at least all of us as Black people were equal in both word and deed. The country’s name is Shona and is unrepresentative of everyone else, including even the indigenous Khoisan/Basarwa people of Southern Africa, who are indeed the true owners of this country. This is the crux of the divisions that have perpetuated misrule in our country. We dont want to allow each other space to be who we are culturally and linguistically, as you would find in South Africa and its provinces and regions – and even in Kenya and its Counties, Nigeria and its federal States and many other African countries for that matter. We want to impose ourselves on each other, on the basis of some fathom history and always concocted majority numbers, in line with the argument that we are free to settle anywhere and everywhere we choose, because this is our country. We dont want to respect each other in our own regions, provinces or homes. How can you expect unity under such circumstances? This is why everyone continues to pull in different directions in Zimbabwe. This is also why the tribe of the individual who aspires to be President is so important in Zimbabwe; hence the divisions we are witnessing today in ZANU PF itself. Dr Nkosana Moyo was recently rubbished and not even given a chance as a Presidential aspirant right from the word go, simply because of his name “Nkosana”. Many of the his tribal critics didnt even know that he was actually Karanga from Belingwe/Mberengwa. You will note that once it became known that Nkosana is actually Karanga, the tribal onslaught on his candidature has since died down somewhat, in many media debates. What kind of a country is this? The call for Mbeki or South Africa’s intervention is an act of desperation by a people who fail to diagnose their ills; a people who prefer to sweep difficult issues under the carpet and refuse to face reality, but would rather pretend that certain issues don’t exist and are not the cause or partly the cause of their problems. They simply expect things to just work out without being honest with themselves. It will never happen!!

  • mtshayazabhotshe

    with all due respect mr Mbeki because of your stance towards Zimbabwe the refugees have now flooded your country who are now fighting for those scarce resources with your people leading to xenophobia which will again takes us back to square one where no body knows what to do!see…….

  • koka

    this mbeki is suffering from small man syndrome. he must let go of his bitterness towards the ANC and admit that he made mistakes in zim situation, on hiv, abused state power in sa etc. time to shut up little mbeki.

  • Benito

    This mbeki is the most stupid of all people that i have ever heard . @ least God intervened by allowing that he be unwittingly removed from power. He really deserved this. He cost the ple of zim just a lot. He should shut up until he dies.what a dull idiot,this thabo mbeki

  • Mkhusto

    Why don’t u report ukuthi umgabe was told ukuthi what he was doing to the people of zim was wrong.
    Genocidal

  • Mbuso Mthembu

    UMbeki vele ulenkani yetshongololo.

    • Mugavimbi_Naledi

      lawe …. abantu bensango laba whose correct reward is being kicked out by a democracy

  • Mugavimbi_Naledi

    nxx … oMbeki, uMzizi … and then he wonders why he is the ONLY ONE quoted by zimbabwe ruins’s ‘newspapers’!!!

    Umfoka Mzizi lo vele ngabantu abawelwa yibukhosi when they had no clue what to do about it – just like omfokaMatibili. Amatshapha lezinyefu zokuqedisela!!!
    Just shut up Mzizi … uyafohla nje. Thank goodness SAfricans KICKED you out!!

    • Nketa 7

      Hmmm ndoda ule problem.. When Mbeki was the President, Rand to US$ was below 7. Now its x 2.

      • Doctor Do little

        When Muzorewa was Prime minister the Dollar was worth 2 pounds. Don’t be silly. It is not only about the exchange rate Zama ukuvusinqondo.

  • Nketa 7

    Looking at your comments, you guys are sick. All what you want is to feed from what is falling from a white man’s table. You have poor minds.. Mugabe is not wrong, the only problem he made was to give people with poor minds power. Zim had money from 1980 – 2000 but you did nothing, nothing at ALL…. WHO TOLD YOU THAT ZIMBABWEANS ARE BORN TO BE EMPLOYED. Alila masende… You dont want Mugabe to leave office, but you need is white people to come back and employee you… SHAME ON YOU… Zimbabwe is not poor. Look at South Africa, 20 yers after independence black people are established. Even if whites leave tomorrow South Africa will stand. Libozinuka amakhwapha. In those 20 yrs of independence and booming economy point one thing that a black person did in Zimbabwe excluding Masiwa. Imagine if we had 1 million people like Masiwa, do you think Zimbabwe will be in that state? Absolutely NOOOOOO. If you are man, and you still cry for Mugabe to leave office know that you future is doomed. The 40s 50s 60s generation failed us. Now we have the responsibility as a young generation to stand and build Zimbabwe.. I WILL NEVER DIE POOR DESPITE OF ECONOMIC TURMOIL… Im a man, i will stand, and in the future your kids are going to be slaves to my kids… J

    • Mixed Race

      You need to be educated in economics and how it is affected by stagflation.S Africa’s economy is facing real problems but you are so ignorant and blind to see it.Exchange rate tells you how the country’s economy is doing.Being a millionaire does not make you a good business person because most of these have reached there through corruption and looting.There are few S African genuine millionaires with proud track records.Please take time to research before posting useless comments with vulgar language.

    • zibulo

      and to think that you can only say this only here , and not emgwaqweni, makes you worse than the ones you insult. empty tin. when a company fails its CEO is kicked out . why should Mgabe stay forever in power, we fought for democracy and freedom and here you are wanting to force Mgabe on us, thinking you are clever. How many Intelligent Zimbabweans have denied the opportunity to lead Zimbabwe , and maybe be better than your choice.many have passed on died, denied the hard-won opportunity to have a shot at the Presidency. Today Chirihuri and Chiwenga and other Army guys rule, and do you here what they say ?? Gone is the Freedom , back again to bondage – to a black man now

  • MUSINDO(MAKANYA)VIGORONY-HOVIO

    Shut up mbeki, you are a fool with twisted mind, what honestly did you see in an evil man like mugabe to defend him, so is the current Zimbabwe your idea of a perfect Zimbabwe with millions starving , no cash, no jobs, total collapse of economy , a country in distress while mugabe and his wife are lavishing around the world, mbeki you failed the pple of Zimbabwe period, infact the whole of sadcc leadership except for Botswana

  • Anonymous

    Tell em here hiri horu

  • ROYAL MTHWAKAZI

    There is no difference between apartheid South Africa and oppressive independent Zimbabwe Mr Mbeki, because human rights are human rights, whichever way you look at it. Unless you are saying black on black oppression is better than white on black oppression. That to me is nonsensical!