This is the full text of an editorial published on Sunday April 3 in the Sunday Mail, the pro-Zanu-PF newspaper published in Harare, under the headline "Has SADC been hijacked":
President Jacob Zuma’s erratic behaviour is the stuff of legends.
Bemused people have often asked: how does the disaster-prone Zuma manage to run Africa’s biggest economy? The answer is really simple: he does not run anything, not even a tuckshop in Soweto. South Africa’s economy is still owned and controlled by the architects of apartheid and global capitalism.
If President Zuma’s bungling were confined to his personal life — for instance the scandalous belief that a post-coital shower offers protection from HIV — most people would laugh off his actions as the predictable antics of a primitive leader.
But the problem with Mr Zuma now is that his disconcerting behaviour has become a huge liability, not only to South Africa but also to the rest of the continent.
Let’s look at President Zuma’s recent actions against Libya and Zimbabwe.
President Zuma, in his Solomonic wisdom, votes for the bombardment of Libya. The following week, after supposedly realising his monumental blunder, he lamely condemns the use of military force on Libya by Western powers.
Mr Zuma’s duplicity is astounding. With such leaders, Africa is in mortal danger. When President Zuma, together with Nigeria and Gabon, voted in favour of United Nations Security Council Resolution 1773 which effectively authorised the re-colonisation of Libya, what in the name of God did they think they were doing?
The same President Zuma who voted for the bombardment of Libya is now speaking out against the use of military force by the United States, Britain, France and their allies. His ludicrous stance has left political scientists scratching their heads in puzzlement. Does South Africa have a foreign policy at all or has the ANC entered the era of Mickey Mouse posturing?
Speaking at a rally to mark Human Rights Day in Cape Town last week, Mr Zuma ridiculously changed tact, urging the UN members not to go beyond the enforcement of a no-fly zone. His statement was a contradiction in terms, because a no-fly zone can never be enforced without the use of military force.
Addressing the same rally, President Zuma made utterances that would have shocked any self-respecting African. With everyone still wondering why South Africa has voted for the bombardment of a fellow African nation, President Zuma resorted to cheap politicking, saying long-tern stability in Libya could only be achieved through a peaceful and political solution based on the will of the Libyan people.
If President Zuma really believes that Libya’s problems can only be resolved by the people of Libya, why then is he ganging up with the West to bombard that independent country? And Mr Zuma must tell us why South Africa has unilaterally frozen the assets and bank accounts of the Libyan state.
On Zimbabwe, President Zuma is showing himself to be a dishonest broker.
As mediator, his role is to encourage dialogue and amity among the three parties to Zimbabwe’s Global Political Agreement. His role is not to meddle and dictate. By pandering to the idle chatter of some political players here, Mr Zuma is compromising his integrity as Sadc mediator.
President Mugabe has clearly stated that President Zuma has no mandate to craft an election roadmap for Zimbabwe.
The people of Zimbabwe won their independence in 1980. We are not a colony — whether under the direct control of the West or by South African proxy.
Zimbabwe is a sovereign state; the will of our people is supreme and absolute. President Zuma and Sadc — individually and collectively — have no legal or moral authority to meddle in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.
In this era of “humanitarian interventionism”, a euphemism for neo-imperialist conquest, Western governments and their agents are always exploring possibilities for creating the false pretext for unleashing war on small countries.
The strategy of the Western powers is now a public secret: instruct your puppet political parties in Africa to claim that the elections have been rigged, incite hundreds of people to riot and, when the police intervene, cry genocide. The Western governments will then gang up under Nato or the UN and bombard the targeted nation. This is the grand plan, and Africans should brace for a bumpy ride ahead.
The US, France and Britain have been emboldened by the way the Libya issue has been handled under the UN system. This is bad news for the progressive world.
We all remember how the West has lied to the world since the year 2000, claiming that Zimbabwe posed a threat to international peace and security in the (Sadc) region. For a while, the Anglo-Saxon cabal abandoned that tired line, deflated by China and Russia’s veto power, but the Libya experience has re-energised the warmongers.
Increasingly, we will see regional blocs play a leading role in doing the West’s bidding.
We have seen what Ecowas has done to the Ivory Coast, we have seen what the East African Community has done to the Congo, we have seen what the African Union and the Arab League have done to Libya.
Tragically, there are Africans who still believe Western propaganda on “democracy, human rights and rule of law”.
William Blum, a leading historian, says since 1945 the US has destroyed or subverted more than 50 governments, many of them democracies, and used mass murderers like Mobutu, Suharto and Pinochet to dominate by proxy. In the Middle East, every dictatorship and pseudo-monarchy has been sustained by America.
Is President Jacob Zuma aware of this?