We fiddle while genocide plays itself out in Zim

"The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people" - Ashanti proverb.

"The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people" - Ashanti proverb.

Africa has a proud legacy of wisdom and knowledge dating back to the beginning of civilisation, which has its foundations in Egypt.

It is therefore not uncommon that gold nuggets such as this Ashanti proverb strike a chord with us.

Zimbabwe is in ruins today while the world watches, as if waiting for its end with dread.

I have to say at the outset that Africans are to blame for the genocide taking root in Zimbabwe, once known as the bread basket of Africa.

What genocide?

For almost 10 years - if not longer - we have been shying away from saying what is happening in Zimbabwe is genocide.

The United Nations defines genocide as an act committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.

This might be by killing members of the group, causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group or deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.

All of these things are happening, simultaneously, in Zimbabwe today.

And meanwhile, what do we do?

We have embarked on a series of failed missions, mediations, summits or interventions - call them what you may.

But we were never genuine in our intentions.

This conjures up images of Thabo Mbeki embracing Mugabe, while Zimbabweans starved and braved the crocodile-infested Limpopo River to escape tyranny and pain.

As if to rub salt into the wounds of the people, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) has held endless summits on the Zimbabwe question.

But what have these leaders come up with?

Again we were bombarded with footage of these leaders embracing Mugabe,even when it was clear that he had become the problem.

I'm afraid we are now witnessing the beginning of the end of what was once a great nation.

And how does the saying go, by the way?

Didn't Nero fiddle while Rome burnt? Of course, Africa personifies Nero, watching and waiting for doomsday.

And what about the Zimbabweans themselves? They fought gallantly to win their liberation and deserve to be enjoying the fruits of their fight.

But can they rise against tyranny as they see it now?

Why are they not fighting, you may ask.

Zimbabweans are war-weary and hope against hope that the bloodshed and suffering will end.

We now see soldiers revolting in the streets and this spells real danger.

Everybody knows what angry and hungry soldiers are capable of.

No one is guilt-free inside or outside the Zimbabwean borders.

To every problem there is a solution, so I was taught.

Africans, especially South African leaders, know what to do.

We cannot be held to ransom by Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai, Mbeki or the SADC on Zimbabwe.

I repeat the Ashanti proverb: "The ruin of a nation begins in the homes of its people".

Is this the story we one day want to tell the children of our children?

I doubt it.