I must admit, I can’t think of a solution. The Anglican Bishop of Pretoria, Joe Seoka, has likened Mugabe to a modern-day Hitler and said he should be removed “by all means necessary”.
Yesterday Mugabe claimed there was no cholera. Today he has claimed there is, but that it is an attempted genocide by the UK. He’s clearly deranged and a danger to his own people. The Bishop is right. He should be removed “by all means necessary”. But what means do we have, and which might be necessary?
That’s the sticking point.
OutRage! had Mugabe under lawful citizens arrest a less than a decade ago. The British police released him and instead arrested the activists. Mugabe did his Christmas shopping at Harrods and flew home to inflict anther decade of devastation on the country.
Peter Tatchell wrote in today’s Times “I tried and failed. It’s time someone else arrested Robert Mugabe“. He recalls the arrest, the first of several attempts:
The first attempt was in late 1999, when Mugabe came to London on a private shopping spree. As the President’s limousine left his hotel, by pre-arranged plan, my three OutRage! co-conspirators – Alistair Williams, Chris Morris and John Hunt – ran into the road, forcing it to halt. I ran from behind, opened the rear door, grabbed Mugabe by the arm, and read him the charge: “President Mugabe, you are under arrest on charges of torture.” Mugabe’s jaw dropped. His face was contorted with fear. I thought to myself: now you know how your victims feel, except we aren’t going to kill you.
I then phoned the police. When they arrived, officers ripped the Amnesty International dossier from my hands, arrested us and gave Mugabe a police escort to go Christmas shopping at Harrods. We were held in the cells at Belgravia police station for nearly seven hours until the Government and police stitched up a deal to let Mugabe return to Zimbabwe, where he resumed his assaults on democracy and human rights.
So, that option having been squandered, what options do we have left?
It seems to me there are these options (and perhaps there are a few more I haven’t thought of)…
(1) Do nothing. Let the people die.
(2) Military invasion. This has its obvious complications which I don’t really have to enumerate.
(3) Send in a hit squad to find Mugabe and “take him out”.
(4) Denounce Mugabe in the strongest terms and let everyone know how disappointed we are in his behaviour.
Points 1 and 4 are basically the same thing – and pretty much what current policy is – so if I were a betting man, I’d say that’s what we’ll be doing. But let’s face it, if ever there was a case of damned if you do, damned if you don’t, this is it.
Perhaps there are other options?