" The gunfire around us, makes its difficult to hear.
But the human voice is different,
- among the sounds.
It can be heard over voices that bury everything else!
Even when it's not shouting.
Even, when it's jus' a whisper.
Even, the lowest whisper can be heard among us,
when,
when, it's telling the truth."
- Edmond Zuwane (The Interpreter ) Dir. Sidney Lumet.


In 2008, a United Nations resolution on Zimbabwe was defeated when Russia and China vetoed it. This article seeks to explore if the draft resolution of 2008, Resolution 447, needs to be further discussed in light of the current situation in Zimbabwe on September 17, when the general assembly meets in New York.

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The security situation in Zimbabwe is s volatile and increasingly threatens a violent reaction to State security forces ( army, police and secret service). The people of Zimbabwe have been exiled en masse and in South Africa there are close to three million Zimbabweans. How is today’s situation different from the situation in 2008? For starters 4.1 Million Zimbabweans need food aid by early 2017; in addition, unemployment has continued to rise with over 95% unemployed.


Firstly, Mr. Mugabe is now 92 years and the decisions governing Zimbabwe are not solely his, there is a human presumption that at 92 he is under duress by the military. Second, the protests by the opposition against Mugabe have increased tenfold - at present,a two week ban on demonstrations has been issued by the police. As a reaction Mr. Mugabe’s Zanu PF government has abrogated the Constitutional Right to individual protest; right against torture; arrest; search and seizure. These actions are all outside of the UN Charter’s accepted code of conduct for member States. The UN does not exist merely for the co-existence of Nations in New York, it is a product of World War II and Nazi Germany from which it crystalizes peace for all world citizens.



It is the right of any Nation to impose martial law or a state of emergency upon its citizens; but the UN cannot condone this.


In light of this, my conclusion is that draft resolution 447 should be discussed by the security counsel as a matter of urgency on September 17, 2016, with the elimination of sanctions on humanitarian grounds. The new 447 resolution will set in motion a Learned Committee, and a Peacekeeping Transitional Authority necessary for Zimbabwe’s 2018 election. The UN resolution will keep most of the points of Resolution 447 with the exception of sanctions.


A security counsel resolution is needed not merely to draw attention to the record of Zimbabwe’s government, but as a precedent for the region in general and Africa in particular; in regards to human rights and the rule of law, this is what the UN exists for, and this is what Zimbabwe agreed to in 1980 when they joined the UN. With the recent criticism of the effort of “ he Elders,” to influence SADC’s approach to Zimbabwe, it is now clear that African countries and regional blocs will not intervene in the crisis in Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwean government cannot argue that use of the UN good offices is foreign meddling in its affairs when it sends its citizens to work at the UN, including high level personal, maintains a mission at the United Nations and at one time sought to have the late Bernard Chidzero, UNCTAD: 1968-1980, as Secretary General of the UN in 1990. Recently, Zimbabwe has sent its police chief on a mission to South Sudan - all this shows that the Zimbabwean government is still part of the UN system.

Zimbabwe is a willing participant of the international community, and should be treated no different to Western countries. If Zimbabwe believes it is no longer bound by the UN Charter, it can shut down its mission, recall its high level citizen employees and withdraw from the United Nations.

The old appendage is true: you cannot have your cake and eat it too. African countries should not be held to a low moral standard considering that when South Africa and Rhodesia were run by white governments the Security Counsel did not shy from making findings on both.

Ken Sibanda is an American Constitutional law attorney, born in Qunu, South Africa and author of "International Law: Peace Accords.” He has written for numerous world publications including for the “Jerusalem Post,” in Israel.



 
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