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Tuesday, 13 March, 2001, 12:11 GMT
Should Europe be dealing with Zimbabwe?

There are renewed calls for greater international pressure to be brought to bear on Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe, currently visiting Europe.

The government has been cracking down in recent weeks on the judiciary, political opponents and the media as it prepares for president elections due by next year.

At the weekend another white person was murdered on a farm - the eighth in the past year.

Criticism of Mr Mugabe's policies was highlighted on Monday by an angry confrontation with British gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell in Brussels.

Many opponents of the Zimbabwe Government want sanctions against President Mugabe - who is having official meetings with the European Commission and President Chirac of France - including a travel ban and a freezing of his international bank accounts.

Should the international community be continuing its dialogue with President Mugabe at a time of such crisis in Zimbabwe? What role can the outside world play in bringing the violence to an end?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.

Your reaction

It was embarrassing and shameful to see the red carpet treatment that Chirac afforded to Mugabe on his visit to Paris. Clearly Chirac is more interested in scoring points against the UK Government than he is about the welfare of the people of Zimbabwe.
David S, France

The country needs a statesman who can instil order

Kazimoto, Tanzania
Mugabe is not necessarily a racist, he is simply a tired despot who will crush anybody, black or white, who opposes his rule. The reason he gets more attention than other despots in Africa and elsewhere is that white people in Zimbabwe have joined the list of his victims. The majority are, however, black. He has also created confusion on the historically just issue of land redistribution. My understanding is that the liberation war was foremost about land. This is an issue that must be dealt with but the country needs a statesman who can instil order, a sense of security and justice in the redistribution of land.
Kazimoto, Tanzania

All the comments here go to show that in an increasingly integrated world we can't turn a blind eye to wrongdoing just because it isn't on our doorstep. All the countries on earth are but rooms in a single house and we ignore tyranny at our own peril.
Amoroso, Kenya

I don't think any sanctions should be applied as that will only hurt the ordinary people whatever their race or colour. Strong dialogue is called for by the collective European Union. Mugabe should be left in no doubt that his evil methods and savagery will not be tolerated.
David, Dubai/ England

Everyday life in Zimbabwe has become an ordeal. Farmers are being murdered, petrol is running out, crops have been destroyed - the economy is a disaster. How can any European Government agree to meet with a dictator who is destroying his country for his own personal gain? How long should we sit here and watch the destruction? How much more blood should be shed before the European Union takes action?
Katherine Murphy, UK

Mugabe is running Zimbabwe into the ground economically and politically

Darren Davison, USA
France should not be conferring legitimacy on Mugabe by meeting with him. He has eschewed the rule of law and is governing by sheer intimidation and terror. Mugabe is running Zimbabwe into the ground economically and politically, while enriching himself and engaging in foreign wars in the Congo. He is looking for anything to divert people's attention from his severely mismanaged government. Mugabe himself has lost his moral compass with his attacks against opposition party members.
Darren Davison, USA

Mugabe has to go and the foreign community should force him out! They can do this by banning all arms sales, restrict foreign travel for Zimbabwe politicians and government employees, and freeze all foreign accounts with the illegal money stolen from innocent Zimbabwe citizens. Mugabe is the head of a murderous regime and must be isolated.
JJ Smith, Malaysia

To Rob Carter I have this to say: Those who saw Mugabe as a beacon of hope in 1980 tended to be ignorant of the finer details of our liberation struggle. By independence Mugabe already had a string of atrocities, including murders of his rivals, behind him. Those of us who knew better are not at all surprised. We were always a bit annoyed at the plaudits the man was undeservedly receiving from the international community. Almost all the worthy leaders during the liberation struggle were assassinated by the usurpers we have in power today.
Taurayi, Zimbabwe

Talking to Mugabe merely confers legitimacy on a murderous tyrant

Rob Carter, USA/ ex-Zimbabwe
Talking to Mugabe merely confers legitimacy on a murderous tyrant who has brought economic and political ruin to a once happy and prosperous country. Those of us who saw Mugabe as a beacon of hope in 1980 are appalled to see him having turned out to be every bit as disastrous as the worst of his racist enemies predicted.
Rob Carter, USA/ ex-Zimbabwe

This has been (wrongly) turned into a black-white issue. It must be remembered that many of Mugabe's supporters are indeed white and of the more lighter shades. His greatest supporter and supplier of arms in the DRC is John Bredenkamp - a British man with distinctly white skin. This is not a black-white issue. It is one of power and greed and the ignorance of an insane man.
Janita, USA

I totally agree with J. Man'ombe of Zimbabwe. Mugabe will do anything to retain power even if it means destroying the economy, his country and his people.
P. Cappiello, USA

I believe the international community should continue dialogue with President Mugabe. In doing so they should persuade him to do the right thing by the people, and leave office.
Ian van Vurren, USA

Why is Europe just concerned with whites when in actual fact the greatest number of people killed in the violence are blacks. Mugabe is playing dirty tricks on the Opposition not necessarily the white community. Do not segregate blacks from your concern. I always hear of Mugabe as a killer because he killed white farmers. My point is don't narrow your coverage widen it to cover black people in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe is an autocrat and ruthless leader, who is killing blacks and whites not only through state funded violence but also through poverty. Let the world do away with racist feelings so that we work together to do away with leader like Mugabe.
J.Man'ombe, Zimbabwe

The case in Zimbabwe has nothing to do with being white or black but about people but treated unjustly because it is not only white farmers' land being taken away but also that of black people as well. As for having Ian Smith back in power - I think not because he is just as bad as Mugabe and black people will have to go through apartheid once again. The people of Zimbabwe need a true honest, just leader who does not see people for their colour but for being who they are.
Jovonine Benjamin, UK

When South Africa declared "apartheid" as law, the world banned and sanctioned us and correctly so, so that we could get our act together and not but a value on the colour of your skin. Is Mugabe not doing the same now? The world should take action now, before things get to a point where from where there is no return, if it is not too late already!
AC, South Africa

Mugabe's strength lies in the fact that he can argue his case very well

Kit Molio, Zimbabwe
Mugabe's strength lies in the fact that he can argue his case very well. Since the 1980's the British have been stalling on the land re-distribution programme. There is the suggestion of corruption on the part of the government. However, if Zimbabwe had been given adequate support in its early years, this problem would have not arisen.
Kit Molio, Zimbabwe

The "land issue" is a joke. In 1980/ 81 a plan to redistribute land on a voluntary buy/ sell plan was put forth. There was more land offered than needed. It did not take long to realise that all the redistribution was going to Comrade Bob's cronies. This caused the UK and USA to distance themselves from the process. This has not stopped ZANU-PF from pointing fingers at everyone except themselves.
Bruce Fletcher, Canada

Mugabe must be held accountable for his actions. Zimbabweans cannot effect change against a government which has armed its police and military to the teeth and hired thugs who are labelled war vets - and armed them as well. No, unless the international community steps in now, Zimbabwe and its people have no chance at all. I say, arrest Mugabe, freeze his assets and show the world that mankind will no longer tolerate his kind.
Sean G, Zimbabwe

I think it's about time an African leader stood up and tried to help his people reap the riches that there are on offer. If only the rest of Africa would get behind him, stop fighting their brothers and awaken this sleeping giant.
Roger, Canada

I have a brother who moved to Zimbabwe from South Africa about 10 years ago and made a life for himself which he loved. Under Mr Mugabe's complete mismanagement and vicious instigating, the country he moved to no longer exists and he is leaving this week to go back to South Africa and on to Canada eventually. To have taken a country so full of promise and driven it right into the ground is one of the saddest things I have witnessed. There are so many like him and I fail to see how Africa wins in this scenario.
TS, Canada

If half the things that Mugabe has done were to be put into practice in the UK there would be international outcry. Also if some of the suggestions below were to even be hinted by the government then we would be excluded from Europe, the US, and the Commonwealth. How can someone justify saying that someone has to leave a country because of the colour of their skin? Its ludicrous. The EU and any other country that has any links with Mugabe's regime should cut them so that he is hurt by their actions. He should not be allowed to rig the next elections and the people of Zimbabwe should vote him out once and for all, then he should be charged by the UN for war crimes/crimes against humanity.
Tom O'D, UK

There have been many good points made but most of you have forgotten something. There are millions of voiceless people in Zimbabwe (without the luxury of the internet) who are the most affected by Mugabe's policies. These are the people that are subjected to intimidation, torture and starvation everyday. Mugabe knows the wicked skill of manipulation. He knows where his votes will come and how to get them. These people who have yet to discover the modern world of open and global communication. They are hidden from the rest of the world and Mugabe knows this. They will vote for him or fear retribution.

Mugabe is using Europe against itself. As long as he's seen to make reassurances periodically, he gets away with it until the next time. Can't Europe see that he says one thing and does another? Should Europe be dealing with Zimbabwe? Yes they should but Mugabe does not at all represent the majority of Zimbabweans. Europe should not deal with Mugabe and freeze his international assets that contain what rightfully belongs to his starving population.
Tony L, Zimbabwe

Constructive engagement is the best option

Jeff, USA
Mugabe's actions, while incredibly stupid, have had the greatest impact domestically and not abroad. Isolating him or imposing sanctions will only make him stronger at home and do more to encourage him to instigate a civil war between blacks and whites. Constructive engagement is the best option; it will give other countries greater influence with Mugabe.
Jeff, USA

One of the main purposes for Mr Mugabes' visit to Europe was to discuss peace plans for the war in Congo. Surely the resolution of a war which has cost hundreds of thousands of lives should take priority. Or are the lives of Congolese people not as important as the rights of farmers.
Tim Rose, Scotland

As usual it is a black white divide isn't it? I am not in any way condoning the behaviour of the Mugabe regime but I can't help but wonder why I don't hear any protests against human rights abuses which are commonplace in the rest of Africa. Maybe it is due to the fact that the victims are "black". Zimbabweans of all races face intimidation.

I can't help but marvel at the way the British media enhances the race issue every time. Is it really necessary to report that eight "white" farmers have been killed so far? When the real victims of Mugabe's madness are the poor "blacks" who can't afford to fly to Britain and seek asylum.
Gina, UK

Mugabe has run out of ideas and strategies to rule the country

We have to move on and try to promote peace world wide. The farmers in Zimbabwe are sons and daughters of Zimbabwe, their forefathers might have came from foreign lands, so did the black people in Zimbabwe (we all once belonged to foreign lands), and we all have a right to all resources in our country. A well-funded and structured land distribution program needs to be implemented, war veterans don't have any right to harass the citizens of the country. Finally, this turmoil is not about the people of Zimbabwe but about Mugabe's survival. Twenty one years in office is too long and Mugabe has run out of ideas and strategies to rule the country, therefore he is relying on thugs to run the country for him. We hear about people in their early twenties who claim to have fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe, "most of them were not even born."

It is ironic that Mugabe continues to court aid from Europeans, the same people he demonises at home. It is sickening that they allow it.
Mark L, Hong Kong

The Belgian and French governments are the latest hypocrites

Giles Cowley, UK
The Belgian and French governments are the latest hypocrites, that of the UK has been ignoring Mugabe's crimes for a long time (what about the massacre of the Ndebele by his 5th brigade?). I once questioned Peter Hain, at Cardiff University, about his government's ethical foreign policy. Mugabe can, quite legally, be arrested at any time during his stay in the European Union, or in any UN member state for that matter. All that stops this taking place is the fact that it is not the children and parents of western politicians that are going hungry and being terrorised.
Giles Cowley, UK

Dr Assegai, Seems to forget the duties placed on the Zimbabwean political parties by the Lancaster House Agreement. Duties that Mr Mugabe quickly ignored as they did not fit with his quest for power via a single party system. The good Dr also seems to ignore the fact that Mugabe's thugs are also beating up and evicting black commercial farmers from their land as well as members of the opposition. If this was happening in an EC nation we would complain and take some form of stance, therefore it is only right that we do so now
Ross Miller, UK

I cannot go back home because I am the wrong colour.

It is sad at this moment in time to see educated people support a racist and tyrant like Mugabe. The oppression of the 70s and 60s should have been a lesson for every progressive person and not a reference to support thuggish behaviour. Mugabe has not only failed the White Zimbabweans but also the blacks and Africa as a whole. He is a disgrace.
Hank Malawo, Zambian/USA

I was in Zimbabwe in November 2000 and it's a fantastic country, but the people have had enough. Every person I spoke to, most of which were black, said "It's time to move on. We need a new leader"

I live in France and have a French wife, I love living here, but I am totally disgusted that Mr Chirac met that murdering racist Mugabe. I love France, but I really do not like the arrogance of the French ruling class and their need to be the first world's rebel.Sickening!
David Hewitt, France

It's also apparent in the tirades that the underlying European assumption in this argument is: "If you leave these blacks to themselves they can't handle it, they'll run the economy into the ground

Paul C., USA
Its always fascinating to listen to whites reduce politicking and plain economic positioning to shrieks of "racist!" or "racism!" when a black leader stands up to them! By the way, it's also apparent in the tirades that the underlying European assumption in this argument is: "If you leave these blacks to themselves they can't handle it, they'll run the economy into the ground." It does appear that way, given the past recent history. But why are these people so concerned about leaving Africa to itself? They have hardly shown sincere love for her people over the past few centuries. Or are they afraid that their superiority posturing will be soon exposed if they leave Africa to her own and her leaders mature?
Paul C., USA

What is the use of the European community to give us aid through the Mugabe government when the majority of us Zimbabweans do not benefit, because of his corrupt regime. Long after he has gone which we hope is sooner than later we will be struggling to pay back money which never benefited us. Aid from the European community or no aid is the same for the Zimbabwean people we are suffering under Robert Mugabe. Hold on with aid until we have in place a responsible government which is not corrupt and respects the rule of law.
Paul Paradza, Zimbabwe

The atrocities committed by his supporters should be treated as war crimes

Rob Holman, UK
I would like to disagree strongly with S Tolofari's comments; ' a handful of white people who have grabbed the Zimbabwean peoples land.' The white people in Zimbabwe are, of course, Zimbabwean. In the same way that black Americans are American. The white inhabitants of African countries are mostly hard-working, productive, and contribute greatly to the various economies. Mugabe should be treated in the same way as Saddam Hussein and Milosevic, since he endorses terrorism. The atrocities committed by his supporters should be treated as war crimes in the same way.
Rob Holman, UK

Do they have a choice not to deal with Mugabe. They have minerals, fertile land, unskilled and cheap labour and what have you? So the western world could not but strike a deal with him.
Seye Ogunrotimi, Nigeria

Belgium should do something, but the UK should have a long time ago. Zimbabwe should have been ejected from the commonwealth as Mugabe's behaviour is clearly racist and against the democratic standing of the commonwealth. I am appalled at the lack of action in this case.
Matthew Lambert, UK

Fair enough Dr. Kuba Assegai, but, next time one of the African countries comes West, begging to bail them out of the next mess caused by the never-ending corruptness of African leaders, he will, of course, be the first to condemn those leaders for asking for aid. (Don't hold your breadth, folks).
Nick Chance, England

In the United States there are a great many black land owners. It is extremely common, and white people do not think anything of it at all

Fred B, USA
In response to Mr. T. Solofari from Nigeria, I can assure you, that in the United States there are a great many black land owners. It is extremely common, and white people do not think anything of it at all. Your concept of the black and white relationship in the US comes from Hollywood movies that are around fifty years old. Just a thought, maybe you should find new research methods. Now, its clear that Mugabe is a racist and well, I honestly think his little country doesn't stand a chance if he starts alienating white people.
Fred B, USA

England and USA were quick in charging some 'Serbians' with abuse of human rights. What about Mugabe? OOhh... I forgot UK, USA and others do make business with this one! I understand now.
Joao Costa, Portugal

Now that it's whites being killed in Zimbabwe it's such a concern for the western countries. It's only 8 of them who have died in a year. How many blacks did the British kill in a day when they were in power in Zimbabwe?
Mimi, Zimbabwean

Dr Assegai, I hope you're playing Devils advocate and that you have the correct hard facts on the Lancaster House agreement. If Zimbabwe had kept to its pre-requisite promises within the agreement I'm sure Britain would have honoured its side - or perhaps it is you who are suffering from selective amnesia ? I hope you are enjoying your political and economic freedom in America. Gerry from Scotland - we have been talking to this corrupt regime for too many decades, it is always the burden of a leaders position to decide when words are no longer enough. No pain - no change!
SF, England

I am very supportive of the high profile being maintained in the press about Zimbabwe by news agencies such as the BBC. Politicians, in my personal view, are generally driven by actions that will be popular in the public eye. Since the general public in the UK is very much aware of the atrocities being committed in Zimbabwe, the British government has been encouraged to take a definite position on the Zimbabwe issue - although a lot more could still be done. The question is: How can we raise the awareness amongst the population in European countries to ensure that governments such as Belgium and France do not greet Mugabe with open arms? On the issue of raising awareness, I would like to ask the press to PLEASE change the emphasis on Mugabe being vilified only because of his treatment of white farmers (e.g. on BBC TV news after the attack on Peter Tatchell). It is true that they have withstood enormous pressure and suffered great losses, but ALL Zimbabweans are being mistreated by their own government. There are regular beatings across the country, families have lost all sources of income and are living on one meal a day etc etc - and it will only get worse.
Tim W, Zimbabwe

Talking yes! Treating as a guest of honour NO.
Alex Smith, England

He is creating internal enemies in order to legitimise his development of the instruments of terror

In the past 100 years the world has seen three great dictators: Hitler, Stalin and Mao. Each at first purported to be freeing their people yet each also ended by assuring their positions in power through repression. Mugabe is not interested in justice in supporting the land-grabs. Rather he is creating internal enemies in order to legitimise his development of the instruments of terror.

Dr Assegai is spouting racist claptrap. The economy of Zimbabwe is in crisis as it is because of the excesses of Mugabe and his gang, if the remaining whites (many of whom are 3rd and 4th generation Zimbabweans) were forced to leave the whole infrastructure of the country would collapse. If Dr Assegai is as concerned as he would have us believe why does he not emigrate to Zimbabwe and 'Save' them?
Chris Casselden, UK

When will Mugabe realise that he is playing to every unreconstructed stereotype of post-colonial African rulers. Still, soon there will be nothing of worth to rule over.
Chris Klein, England

As a Zimbabwean with relatives still in the country we call upon the European Union and the Commonwealth to place sanctions on Mr. Mugabe, freeze his bank accounts and expel them from the Commonwealth, as this type of behaviour is totally unacceptable in the 21st Century, everyone should be able to feel protected by the law in a country, which is evident that there is no such law and order in Zimbabwe and we should not stand back an allow this type of thing to happen to anyone, we need to take a bigger stand in this mess.
Laurin Hall, United Kingdom

When the whites have been chucked out and there is no economy left, big companies from France, Belguim (see how he's cosy'ing up to them) and other nations can come in

John Carter, UK
It's plain to see Mugabe is a racist who's had too long in power. The true members of his liberation movement have spoken to the media before condemning him, in fact, many had reservations at the time he was made leader that he was unsuitable. He was put in Zimbabwe to cause lawlessness and terror so that the multinationals can take advantage of the poor people he created. When the whites have been chucked out and there is no economy left, big companies from France, Belguim (see how he's cosy'ing up to them) and other nations can come in and start operating out of the anarchy, low wages, no worker rights, and Mugabe will blame the colonialists. Ian Smith was an angel compared to Mugabe, and I hope he returns to politics, he's been Zimbabwe's only decent leader.
John Carter, UK

That despicable man, and his whole gang of butchering thugs, should be ostracised by every single person in this world. How can Cook, justify talking to him? Ditto, Chirac? Like Milosovic, the man should be brought to trial for Crimes against Humanity....not that he knows what that word means, of course! Put a News Blackout on him.
Guerrini, Spain

Like so many tin pot regimes the real tragedy of Mugabe's reign is the blatant corruption. It must be terrible for white farmers and they have my sympathy. But what about the millions of blacks who are suffering through the robbery by Mugabe's regime from his own country and have little chance of moving above the poverty line? Stealing white farms will not solve this as they will go to Mugabe's supporters. Until corruption is stopped and a genuine attempt to allow the people to decide (if this means keeping Mugabe by fair means then we have to accept this)a fair way to proceed. If you accept aid surely it is reasonable we ask for decent standards as to how it is used?
Paul, UK

Most people seem to be missing the point on Mugabes land reform programme. The most devastating effect of this whole process will be on the indigenous people of Zimbabwe who due to Mugabes regime are so much worse off then twenty years ago that the destabilising effect the land reform is creating, will cause millions of black people to starve. Will the Western world only react once the full impact of Mugabe's rule is felt with these deaths? It is no longer about black and white but about one mans unabated greed.
Dave M, UK

I suppose when it comes to Africa, the UK/Europe haven't exactly got a clean slate from which to preach

Sharon Wagner-Clayton, UK
It is time that ethics were considered in all diplomacy. That is not to say that the meetings shouldn't take place, but rather that they are used for straight talking. A bit of leadership in the world would go a long way, but then I suppose when it comes to Africa, the UK/Europe haven't exactly got a clean slate from which to preach.
Sharon Wagner-Clayton, UK

Should we not also ponder on the seemingly strange double standard that the Belgian government seems to apply with its relations with countries that appear to be xenophobic. At once condemning countries and imposing sanctions on countries such as Austria and Italy for their choice of government, and at the same time welcoming a president with a proven track record in stirring racial hatred. We need to set one type of policy for all EU countries at least, to maintain some form of coherence and consistency, otherwise see these people take advantage of these loopholes..
Jim Belgium

Nearly everyone in Zimbabwe was sick of Mugabe when I worked there as a teacher in 1992, except for the few who benefited from his regime. He is a mad, bad old man who puts his own survival above the grave problems facing his ten million compatriots, and in doing so has brought Zimbabwe to its knees. The UN should be much firmer.
David Makinson, UK

I just think that the UK government and the wider international community, in particular the United Nations, lack the courage to do anything about Mugabe and other despots. As a former British Colony, and for the important role they played in getting Mugabe into power, they (the British government) just sit back in their ivory towers and do nothing of any substance. Other than uttering a few naughty-boy statements nothing is done. Now if this was Kuwait, with a real vested interest, it would be sorted out in double quick time. Well, it is really unfortunate that so many people are being killed and tortured while Mugabe is allowed to reign supreme. Why was he not arrested for human rights atrocities when he arrived yesterday? International community, be it on your heads, as you have the power to do something about it.
Dave Upton, UK

The only way to engage Mugabe, is through dialouge. The country's decline economically has not led to any policy shift by Mugabe and his government, so why should sanctions change anything. The outside world should continue to support those opposed to the Mugabe regime, whether it be support to the MDC, or local and international NGO's. People only continue to support Mugabe out of fear. He will soon lose all his local support as the country's crisis deepens. That will be the time when international agencies should become more proactive with Zimbabwe. The more confrontational international opponents become, the more Mugabe isolates himself and his country. If he is has come to Europe for support, it is a sign that he needs help, at least this gives European leaders some bargaining power to influence Mugabe's repressive policies.
Marcus ter Haar, Botswana

Further to my previous comments, I believe that all whites should leave the African continent to the Africans. What could they possibly contribute to the corruption, economic mismanagement and political instability that has been displayed by so many of the existing majority governments in Africa? The white farmers of Zimbabwe (many of whom have been there for 2 to 3 generations) who make a significant contribution to the Zimbabwean economy, should leave it to their black masters to manage, and make their contributions to more deserving establishments. Mugabe would then not have anyone to blame and could continue to run the country - into the ground. In addition, if he is so against external interference, then he should be left without the aid provided by 'European' communities. How long would it last then?

Firstly to the most esteemed Dr. Assegai - I am a white African, so how would it fit into your grander scheme? The fact is that Mugabe is a despot. South Africa may not have a right to interfere in the internal affairs of a sovereign state, but the fact is that what Mugabe does in his country affects the entire region. His blatant disregard for democracy and press freedom affects international opinion and thus investment which Africa so desperately needs - and let's not forget that Mugabe had no moral conflict in interfering in the former DRC.
F Cobain, South Africa

Isolation from the international community can have the opposite effect to that desired

Gerry, Scotland
Whilst it would be easy to rant about never meeting Mugabe after his recent behaviour we have already seen that isolation from the international community can have the opposite effect to that desired. It is better to meet with him and to regularly spell out that his country's behaviour is both inhuman and wrong.
Gerry, Scotland

Exactly which neo-colonial regime in South Africa is our learned Dr. Kuba Assegai from the United States talking about, the one that was voted in by the African majority?
Richard, UK

Why is it that racism in terms of white on black, is totally, and rightly, condemned world wide. To the point where governments will boycott countries because of leading politicians' beliefs. But when it tends to be black on white a different stance is taken. My knowledge of Mugabe, comes through press reports, so are our leaders aware of wider issues than the majority? Racism should be acknowledged in both blacks and whites and tackled accordingly. By only looking at one point then those in authority are providing fodder for those who try to install their views on those who are easily lead. This can be applied on a local as well as world wide basis.

The only interest Britain, the chief campaigner, and the rest of the western world has in Zimbabwe is the maintenance of the status quo, where a handful of white people who have grabbed the Zimbabwean peoples lands, would continue to lord it over the people of Zimbabwe. Mugabe does not need the approval or the "talking to" of Europe to be the president of an African country. Malcolm C, how many acres of land do Africans own in the United Kingdom or the United States?
S Tolofari, Nigeria

The rest of the world should deny visas and travel facilities to Mugabe and his cronies. The current on-going terrorism by the his army and the police witnessed in the high density suburbs and the rural areas of Zimbabwe, (which are being reported widely) should be a wake up call to all people who espouse democratic values. Mugabe is not a democrat and does not recognise human rights at all.
T.Kanjere, Zimbabwe

When Augusto Pinochet visited the UK in good faith he got arrested for his troubles. Perhaps Mugabe should be treated likewise.
John B, UK

The British have a nerve. Of course after mis-educating their population into their usual 'One Dimensional' belief on the issue of Zimbabwe they ask questions as the one you posed. Have you forgotten so easily Rt.Hon. Harold Wilson's "Kith an Kin' statements in 1965. Also is amnesia is hallmark of the British psyche, so they can forget so easily the promises at the 'Lancaster House' Agreement. As a supporter of the 'Chimurenga in Zimbabwe' I call for the total expulsion of Europeans from Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa. Moreover, if the neo-colonial regime in South Africa attempt to meddle in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe it will be the end of that un-liberated regime.
Dr. Kuba Assegai, United States

Mugabe is feathering his nest at the expense of ALL Zimbabweans, black and white

I take it that when Kuba Assegai calls for the expulsion of Europeans from Africa he means the expulsion of white people, since the vast majority ARE African. I wonder how he would respond to a similar call for blacks to be expelled from the USA and Europe? Why do people like this always fall back on outdated references to "colonialism" to cover the excesses of corrupt regimes? Mugabe is feathering his nest at the expense of ALL Zimbabweans, black and white.

Dr Assegai, how would you feel if indigenous people in the UK (or in the US where, interestingly, you choose to make your home) called for the repatriation of "Africans" who had been born and bred in their countries? I grew up in apartheid era South Africa (not through choice) and rebelled against the obnoxious regime there, with life changing effects. I was delighted when democracy was finally secured there and am even more delighted now that my friends of all races are able to co-exist in far more peaceful circumstances than I would ever have imagined possible. Contrast Nelson Mandela's position as the ultimate international statesman with that of Mugabe, who the world rightly sees as a bully boy who not only implements the most blatantly racist policies on earth, but also flouts democracy and subjugates his own people. Why else are so many black Zimbabweans seeking asylum in the UK?
Malcolm Cupis, UK

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05 Mar 01 | Europe
Belgium defends Mugabe visit
10 Feb 01 | From Our Own Correspondent
Zimbabwe's descent into violence
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