05 June 2007

Turning a Blind Eye

Robert MacDonald: 'Lion and Spear' Zimbabwe campaign website

“I was dragged out of the farmhouse and tied to a tree. I was tortured and beaten for three days until they thought I was dead; then they took me to a river and threw me out on the banks. I had a broken leg, broken arm, massive lacerations to my head, my nose was broken, my kidneys were severely damaged. Because of the trauma I still have a swollen heart.” It is not until I ask what became of the farm workers that the tears begin to fall. “They were rounded up and put into a hut. The door was locked and it was burnt down while they were inside. There were 28 people. They were my colleagues, my dear friends,” he pauses for a moment and then says, more quietly, “eight of them were children.” He is keen to stress the point that Mugabe’s violence is colour blind. “The white farmers that have perished are in the minority,” he says. “The majority of people Mugabe has killed are black people, his own people.”
If you haven't yet read the interview with Robert MacDonald, Life after death, in this month's issue of The Difference magazine, then make sure you do. More importantly, if you have not yet joined our campaign, Zimbabwe: Will Anybody Help?, please take a moment to do so. For as the Life after death article concludes:
Like many who are aware of the situation in Zimbabwe, MacDonald finds it hard to stomach that the rest of the world is turning a blind eye to the horrendous death toll. “More people die in Zimbabwe per week than anywhere else in the world, but there is no oil. Today oil is the currency for action.” He continues: “The UN has done nothing besides wag its finger. In years past, many people in Zimbabwe regarded Britain as their motherland, and tens of thousands gave their lives in the two world wars, but now they feel abandoned. It could be so different if Britain was willing to take a formal, positive role in spearheading international condemnation and driving the EU’s response. Extending the EU’s economic sanctions could make all the difference.The ball, it seems, is firmly in our court.


James said...

It's so hard not to be defeatist when you look at the scale of the problem in Zimbabwe, but that's no excuse for not starting where we can. If EU sanctions might help, even a little, then surely we've got a huge moral obligation to ensure they're enforced.