Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2000-05-17-Speech-3-175"

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"Mr President, why have so many African freedom fighters who we admired so much ended up as power-crazed potentates? Why have so few former colonies turned into constitutional states? Where anarchy and lawlessness rule, the law of the most brutal party applies. In Zimbabwe, this takes the form of Mr Mugabe. Where this country used to be a model for the Third World of how things should be done, it has now degenerated into its own opposite. It is ruled by a dictator who deems his own power and privileges more important than the lack of stability of his country and the suffering of his own people. Land reform is necessary, of course. The possession of land in Zimbabwe still reflects the old colonial relations and this will, needless to say, cause tension. But for years, Mr Mugabe himself had the opportunity to carry out this land reform, even with foreign help. The question is therefore: what mala fide reasons are behind Mr Mugabe’s doing nothing initially and then, just before the elections, getting his cronies to cause havoc in the farms of the white people? According to the Zimbabwean election monitors, the incessant violence renders free and fair elections impossible. As long as this is the case, the election date has to be postponed. A situation whereby Mr Mugabe legitimises his position through violence and intimidation must be avoided at all costs. It would be a positive step if MEPs acted as observers during these elections and included Mugabe’s pre-electoral machinery in their assessment. If the elections are not conducted fairly, European aid will need to be postponed. But the cooperation according to Lomé cannot continue if Mugabe also renders elections impossible. A further deterioration of the situation in Zimbabwe could have far-reaching effects on the African continent in general, and on South Africa in particular. The Zimbabwean population deserves a far better government than it has at the moment. It is high time that the European Union spoke very clear language. Our patience with African leaders whose heroic deeds only take the form of abuse of power is running out."@en1

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