Zimbabwe Tour – Mugabe Heaves a Sigh of Relief
The statements of Foreign Minister Phil Goff and New Zealand Cricket’s Martin Snedden will be greeted with a huge sigh of relief by the Mugabe regime in Zimbabwe.
Snedden’s comments which put up a smokescreen in front of the appalling outrages committed by Mugabe indicate a new low in the debate. Snedden has made the outrageous claim that public opinion is now swinging in behind the tour. The opposite is the case. Saturday’s 1000 strong protest in Queen Street Auckland was a very pleasing turnout given the short time for building support for a march. New Zealanders have moved on from the “keep politics out of sport” debates on the 1980’s with the overwhelming majority opposing this tour. Some of our sports administrators are still rooted in the past – standing in the debris of human rights violations – which appal decent people.
Phil Goff’s repeated statements that he will not legislate to stop the tour are giving cover to the murderous outrages continuing on a daily basis in Zimbabwe. Goff is the Minister of “bluff and bluster”.
We can have it both ways. The government can take action to stop the tour while at the same time preserving the rights of Individuals to travel overseas and play sport. As the resolution at the endo of Saturdays march put it –
“That this march condemns unreservedly the appalling human rights abuses occurring under the Mugabe regime and calls on the New Zealand government to take all steps necessary to prevent our national representative cricket team from touring Zimbabwe next month while preserving the right of any individual to travel or play sport wherever they wish”
Mugabe is setting the scene for genocide as he dehumanises the victims of his outrages as “filth” and “maggots” and his ministers claim that the country has too many people anyway…
There will be blood on the hands of Phil Goff and Martin Snedden if this tour proceeds.