Statement Of Sen. Alexander - African Affairs Subcommittee Chairman

Posted on April 12, 2005

Today the committee will hear from seven individuals who have been nominated by the President to serve as Ambassadors to eight countries in sub-Saharan Africa (one Ambassador will represent us in two countries). On that list of eight countries, one stands out as a country of particular concern: Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe was once the breadbasket of southern Africa; today it relies on food aid. Zimbabwe was an economic powerhouse, but its GDP has been cut in half in only two years  and continues to plummet. The implosion of the Zimbabwe economy has been caused by the gross mismanagement of its so-called President, Robert Mugabe. Once the liberator of that country, today Mugabe is the captor  willing to undertake any destructive policy in order to hold on to power. He even uses the army and youth militias to intimidate, brutalize, rape, torture, or murder those suspected of aiding the opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Elections are now violent affairs in Zimbabwe, and most observers believe that, if they were allowed to be fair and free, the MDC would win. In the midst of this catastrophe, one thing is clear: it's time for Robert Mugabe to go. I'm anxious to hear our strategy for confronting this dictator from our future Ambassador to Zimbabwe.