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Statement that Malaysia accepts Robert Mugabe to the country on the basis of medical tourism is very disappointing

Zimbabwe is at a crossroads. The future of this long-suffering, kleptocracy-ridden nation depends—not only on the choices of its leaders and people—but whether the international community has the courage to stand by its principles.

A military coup—for that is what it was despite all the denials—can never be the way to solve a country’s problems, no matter how dire. No credit or recognition should be given to any military-led or backed regime.

Whatever the case, President Robert Mugabe must surely realize that his people have turned against him and, more importantly, that his time in power is up. The only legitimate and acceptable outcome to the current impasse is the complete, peaceful restoration of civilian rule as well as free and fair elections for a new government of national reconciliation.

The international community—including and especially regional bodies such as the Southern African Development Community (SADC)—should countenance no other resolution.

Separately, there have been online reports that Mugabe may seek asylum in either Singapore or Malaysia.

One hopes that this is not true and if so, that the government of Malaysia not allow him to do so. The statement by Deputy Prime Minister Zahid Hamidi that Malaysia does not stop him from coming to Malaysia on the basis of medical tourism is very disappointing.

Malaysia should not be party to any deal which prevents or retards the democratisation as well as the course of justice in Zimbabwe.

Mugabe’s fate should ultimately be decided by the people of Zimbabwe via a civilian, democratically-elected government.