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December 08, 2003

Zimbabwe Quits Commonwealth (Updated)

Mugabe seems to be moving Zimbabwe further toward isolation from the international community. While the IMF is moving to expel Zimbabwe from the organization, Mugabe has refused to take steps to fix the economic issues that are quickly pulling the country to a complete collapse. Likewise, with the Commonwealth extending a suspension on Zimbabwe, as a Reuters report notes, "on grounds that President Robert Mugabe rigged his re-election and persecuted his opponents," Mugabe is refusing to take steps to liberalize and legitimize his rule. Instead, he's claiming racism within the Commonwealth and withdrawing Zimbabwe from the ranks of the organization.

Amid sharp divisions at a four-day Commonwealth summit, the organisation decided to extend Zimbabwe's suspension but opened the way for a possible return if Harare engaged in reconciliation with the political opposition.

This continued move from Mugabe to isolate Zimbabwe not only damages his reputation, but means a loss of aid that might have saved lives and helped rebuild the country's economy. Instead, Mugabe seems to be taking steps that almost guaranty a complete economic collapse and make a civil war even more likely.

From my childhood, I remember Rhodesia as a shining, beautiful country. I remember how beautiful and ideal it seemed. Of course, that memory is filtered by the years and by a child's understanding; even then there was political turmoil and racial inequity that I wasn't equipped to understand. Still, after independence, Zimbabwe could have been something special.

It was always my dream to be able to go back one day and find a place in that country. Watching the nation slipping into a self-destruction that likely cannot be healed within my lifetime is like watching a dream die.


Read about Zimbabwe's exit from the Commonwealth.
Read about Zimbabwe's potential expulsion from the IMF.

Updated: Mostly Africa has a nice roundup of thoughts on the subject well worth reading.

Posted by zombyboy at December 8, 2003 09:56 AM

One thing you didn't mention... now Zimbabwean authors won't be eligible for the Booker prize. Oh, the crushing of artisitic freedom!

Posted by: Matt Moore at December 8, 2003 12:56 PM

I bet the Dixie Chicks get all riled up about this injustice!

Posted by: zombyboy at December 8, 2003 03:02 PM
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