Smarting from a recent post election violence in their country, Kenyans now accuse Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe for putting the south African state in political turmoil and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai for abandoning his supporters at the hour of need.
Majority of the Kenyans observe that despite Kenya having experienced a similar political crisis early in the year, Kenya’s case was different from that of Zimbabwe.
In an interview carried out by Africanews.it among different professionals and the general public in Kenya, Tsvangirai is being accused for boycotting the June 27 presidential elections. “Tsvangirai’s action amounted to betrayal of MDC supporters in the cause to liberate Zimbabwe from the yoke of dictatorship”, Peter Namai, a journalist with a leading daily said adding that Tsvangirai should have participated in the race so that he could have a better chance of negotiating after Mugabe rigged the election.
According to few Kenyans who support the idea of a coalition government between Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and MDC party of Tsvangirai, such an arrangement could have been possible if Tsvangirai did not withdraw his candidature. “But it is now difficult for Mugabe to enter into a political negotiation with a party which withdrew from the race”, says Paul Kukubo, a political analyst.
During the recent Africa Union heads of state meeting in Egypt, it was recommended that the two parties negotiate for a coalition government similar to what Kenya did after a disputed presidential poll results early this year. However, many African presidents are yet to comment on the situation in Zimbabwe especially condemning Mugabe for his political high handedness which has led to the country experiencing one of the worst economic recession in the world.
However some Kenyans are of the opinion that Zimbabwe should deal with its own problems without engaging support from outside noting that the country’s political problems were unique and different from the Kenyan situation. During the Kenyan crisis, a solution for a grand coalition government between the two political protagonists Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga was brokered by former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan. Mugabe has ruled out negotiating with Tsvangirai for a shared government.
Most of those interviewed including clergymen have demonized the brutal handling and killing of opposition supporters during the presidential campaigns and in post election period. “What Mugabe and his henchmen are doing are sinful deeds not only unacceptable politically but also sinful in the eyes of God”, Rev. Thomas Rono of the Pentecostal church explains.
Kenyans are keenly watching the unfolding situation in Zimbabwe – the interest being whether the country will wriggle itself out of the economic and political quagmire that it is in currently. The question in many people’s lips is will Zimbabwe go the Kenyan way of sorting out its political problem or it will device a Zimbabwean strategy now that the African Union meeting in Egypt never provided any solution to the Zimbabwean crisis.
By Ken Chelimo
Photo by: Malcolm M
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