THE BLOG

"Voldemort is alive and well and living in Zimbabwe"

08/18/2008 04:55 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Perhaps, I should say "You-Know-Who" or "He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named" but the more we vocalize the name, the less power and fear he will use to violate Zimbabweans. Mugabe. Mugabe. Mugabe. Voldemort is of course a fictional character, who personifies evil and strikes terror at the very heart of the world he inhabits. Mugabe, is unfortunately, real and evil and also strikes terror in the hearts of those still surviving his despot regime. I wish getting rid of Mugabe was as easy as closing the cover of a book.

In the last year since coming back from Zimbabwe, I have continued to witness the rape, the abuse, the murders and lengthy tortures from human beings who want a better life. The distribution of aid by local and humanitarian efforts is still prohibited by his regime. The torture camps, which I have written about in an earlier blog continue to operate: www.huffingtonpost.com/michealene-cristini-risley/the-estimated-cost-of-hum_b_103772.html .
The situation in this once prosperous country has gone from worse to hopeless.

J. K. Rowling is the author of the wildly successful and creative "Harry Potter" series of books. Her own story could be a book. The part of her story that is relevant here is taken from her commencement Speech at Harvard University earlier this year. Her speech was incredibly powerful and poignant. In her talk: http://harvardmagazine.com/go/jkrowling.html, she says

"One of the greatest formative experiences of my life preceded Harry Potter, though it informed much of what I subsequently wrote in those books. This revelation came in the form of one of my earliest day jobs. Though I was sloping off to write stories during my lunch hours, I paid the rent in my early 20s by working in the research department at Amnesty International's headquarters in London.
There in my little office I read hastily scribbled letters smuggled out of totalitarian regimes by men and women who were risking imprisonment to inform the outside world of what was happening to them. I saw photographs of those who had disappeared without trace, sent to Amnesty by their desperate families and friends. I read the testimony of torture victims and saw pictures of their injuries. I opened handwritten, eye-witness accounts of summary trials and executions, of kidnappings and rapes.
And as long as I live I shall remember walking along an empty corridor and suddenly hearing, from behind a closed door, a scream of pain and horror such as I have never heard since. The door opened, and the researcher poked out her head and told me to run and make a hot drink for the young man sitting with her. She had just given him the news that in retaliation for his own outspokenness against his country's regime, his mother had been seized and executed.
Every day of my working week in my early 20s I was reminded how incredibly fortunate I was, to live in a country with a democratically elected government, where legal representation and a public trial were the rights of everyone.
Every day, I saw more evidence about the evils humankind will inflict on their fellow humans, to gain or maintain power."

It is very clear to me, the lengths at which Robert Mugabe will go to maintain his power. What is unclear to me is how the world continues to stand by and let this man destroy Zimbabwe? South Africa's tarnished leader, Thabo Mbeki continues to say that negotiations are on track for a power sharing government. News today is that regional leaders put pressure on Tsvangirai to accept a power sharing deal. The question is, power sharing by whom? Mbeki- is the same man who ate denial for breakfast when it came to addressing the crisis going on in Zimbabwe. WE need courageous leaders like Botswana's President Khama!

I fully expect that one day soon, Morgan Tsvangirai will be dead. It will be an accident, a simulated heart attack or an outright execution. Mugabe's arrogance fears no repercussions and has no boundaries, so an execution would not be a surprise. Morgan Tsvangirai has stood up to Mugabe, has resisted "his evilness", but "BOB" will try to maintain power at all costs, including standing over the dead body of Tsvangirai. What's one more body?

I find myself in awe of J.K. Rowling's ability to use those early experiences and create great gifts of imagination and storytelling-I wish that as a world we could write away the evil of Mugabe. It would go something like this...

Mbeki is in the midst of the negotiations with Mugabe and Tsvangira in a large hot room somewhere in the middle of Harare. They are surrounded by military leaders who stand tall, watching attentively over there two African leaders. Morgan Tsvangira is sweating.

There is a light knock at the door. The General closest to the door opens it swiftly. All eyes look to the doorway. There is a large, lithe man standing there. He wears a dark blue hooded sweatshirt. The hood covers almost everything but the center of his face. His lean piano thin hands reach to lower the hood. There is a collective gasp in the room; instant recognition as the bald-headed man reveals himself. Mugabe's eyes alight, in awe he stands and reaches for Voldemort's hand. Two distorted minds connect hands and in a shower of sparks, Voldemort takes Mugabe's soul and both disappear.
Mbeki and Tsvangira are left behind with those familiar scars emblazoned on their foreheads.

Cut to a close up of the last pages of the Harry Potter novel, and it turns by itself and the book closes. There is a loud thud as the book closes, then a long silence. There would be initial silence and then a HUGE wave of relief if Mugabe had disappeared with Voldemort into the pages of Harry Potter novel, never to hurt a real human being again.

Okay, Okay...We need more than imagination to rid the world of evil beings like Mugabe, but my fantasy allows me to at least finish a real breakfast.