Mugabe Must Step Down Dec 01

When Mr. Mugabe became the first President of Zimbabwe some 40 years ago, that landlocked country in Africa was a rich nation that could feed its population and export food to neighbouring countries. About 1000 white farmers, owning most of the land, produced the food and the surplus.

After Independence in Zimbabwe, the Lancaster House Agreement between Britain as the colonial power and Zimbabwe allowed for land re-distribution to black families, and appropriate compensation to white farmers without loss of production.

Mugabe failed in implementing these reforms and failed to settle the poor black families whilst allowing the white farmers to continue farming the productive land.

Since Independence, Mugabe has had so much time to establish real democracy, rule of law and prosperity for all. Instead he has enriched himself, his friends and destroyed his country's economy. He has made the poor even poorer. He has intimidated, looted and deprived the white farmers who produced so much wealth for his nation.

Zimbabwe needs a free and fair election. Mugabe should not fear - he will be judged on his record. If he is a statesman, like Mandela, then he should step down with dignity and let someone else from his Zanu PF contest the election. He should listen to the Archbishop of Zimbabwe who has also urged him to be fair and just.

Mr. Mugabe cannot and will not be remembered in Africa unless he gives his countrymen a chance to breathe, walk without fear and seek opportunities to enhance their quality of life! I have a simple message for Mr. Mugabe - be an African elder and retire gracefully to your village!