Skip to comments.(Australian PM)Howard labelled 'butcher of Baghdad'(by Zimbabwe)
Posted on 12/11/2003 12:06:09 PM PST by browsin
Prime Minister John Howard has been labelled the "butcher of Baghdad" by a Zimbabwe government minister angry over the Australian leader's role in his nation's suspension from the Commonwealth.
Zimbabwe declared it would pull out of the Commonwealth after Howard helped convince Commonwealth leaders to extend the African nation's suspension from the body.
Howard's role has angered Zimbabwe's government MPs seeking parliamentary approval for President Robert Mugabe's withdrawal decision.
Foreign Minister Stan Mudenga referred to him as the "butcher of Baghdad" - a reference to Australia's participation in the war in Iraq.
Mudenga said Howard had declared that Zimbabwe would not be re-admitted into the Commonwealth until Mugabe was removed from power.
"That was said by the butcher of Baghdad - John Howard," he said.
"The decision to pull out of the Commonwealth is correct. There is no way Zimbabwe can meet Mr Howard's demands of regime change."
The move to ask parliament to endorse the decision in retrospect sparked heated debate, especially from the opposition which had on Monday branded Mugabe's decision as illegal since it lacked the approval of the cabinet and parliament.
Mudenga referred to whites in the Commonwealth as "racist bullies".
He said Zimbabwe's problems were being stirred up by Britain, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, which he said were unhappy about the government's land reforms of taking land from whites and redistributing it to blacks.
Mugabe withdrew Zimbabwe's membership from the Commonwealth on Monday shortly after the club decided to extend the country's suspension for an indefinite period.
Yesterday, while Mugabe was travelling to Switzerland, the cabinet endorsed the decision to withdraw from the club of mainly former British colonies.
Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa told parliament Zimbabwe had to resign from the Commonwealth "so as to stop any further humiliation of the country".
However, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) strongly opposed Mugabe's decision.
"I believe the decision (by Mugabe) to pull out of the Commonwealth is a blatant disregard of the role of parliament," said MDC lawmaker Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga.
"We need to begin giving to the people of Zimbabwe the right to make decisions," she said.
Another MDC parliamentarian, party secretary general Welshman Ncube, drew parallels between Zimbabwe and the only other country to have pulled out of the Commonwealth, apartheid South Africa.
South Africa pulled out of the Commonwealth in 1961 "when the apartheid regime was facing the wrath of the Commonwealth over its racist policies, discriminatory policies. The parallels are very clear.
"We are dealing with a regime which is undemocratic, a government which is completely off the rail and has to be brought back on rail," said Ncube.
The debate was expected to continue late into the night before a vote was taken, but the motion is likely to sail through as Mugabe's ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) enjoys a majority in parliament.
I suggest "Late" as in the Late Robert Mugabe.
Yes, him, and I am sure all of us could name a few other choice scum bags for the same fate.
Well, that is a good start.