THE BLOG

Wanted Dead or Alive: Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe

There are days when I wish we were back in the 'Wild Wild West". THEME MUSIC PLEASE

My boots scuff on the plank sidewalk as I move toward the "Last Chance Saloon." With one arm I push the swinging doors open and saunter into the saloon. There is a ruckus going on so I slide right up to the bar unnoticed. I could see someone approach me out of the corner of my eye, and stand at the farther end and wait. I slam the gold coins on the top of the bar, scraping them across beer droppings and mug rings to stop at this strangers' hands. Eye contact, head nod, and I move past him out to my horse. "Don't need to know no details, it just needs to be done." Of course, that fantasy doesn't make me much better than Mugabe himself. Unfortunately, I have long stopped thinking of that man as human in any form.

Perhaps that is part of why the 'Old West has always intrigued me. At least in the movies, the bad guys always ate rope. The problem with Mugabe and Zimbabwe is that this movie, keeps going and the bad guys always win. This kind of powerlessness is so hard for me to live with--imagine the poor people in the center of this story. Unless Zimbabwe gets the attention of National and International leaders--a focused effort--we are powerless in the fight to get Mugabe out of office....dead or alive.

Awhile back in a Huffington Post blog I wrote about the story of Jestina Mukoko: >http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michealene-cristini-risley/a-christmas-carol-in-zimb_b_152882.html . Last winter, a pajama clad Jestina is taken out of her home in the middle of the night by the Central Intelligence Organization or a.k.a. "THUGS". Her son, 15 at the time, runs out screaming to stop them. He is as powerless as any Zimbabwean has been for the last 30 years. The men who carried her out beat her with police issued rubber sticks and made her kneel in gravel. For kicks, sometimes the "Guards" would force her prone to lift her feet off the ground (like doing a sit up) while they punched her in the stomach. All the while sipping on their Zambezi beer and laughing. What a riot!

The current Magistrate Catherine Chimanda, has refused to entertain an application by defense council to oppose Jestina and the other 17 human rights activists from going back to prison. Ms. Chimanda has long been knows as a "plant" or foot-soldier for Mugabe. She does what she is told, or else. How the President continues to keep hold of this almost-demolished land of inhumanity is by planting people in positions of power. It will take outside intervention and orchestrated effort to thwart his command. On March 3rd of this year, when I found out that Jestina had been released, I was ecstatic. I even twittered on it: Justina Mukako released from Zim prison! http://tinyurl.com/bknd5q

I am back in the Saloon now, mulling over the situation as I sip a beer. Having seen Mugabe's torture chambers up-close, I still see the iron chains and feel the thousand screams from those hollowed rooms. I am fearful that additional screams will be added by Jestina and the other 17. I am twittering again: "Yep, an eye for an eye never looked so good."