It must be comforting for Zimbabwe’s citizenry to know that as they go about their everyday life — 80% unemployment, 1700% inflation, 3500 people killed weekly by AIDS, more than a million AIDS orphans, widespread starvation and police brutality — the children of their leaders are getting a pukka education.

As Crikey has been reporting over recent weeks, many of the children of the senior members of Robert Mugabe’s disgraced regime are studying or resident in Australia. Those children include the son of Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri (who recently issued orders for police to shoot to kill the organisers of the Save Zimbabwe Campaign who had scheduled a prayer meeting to pray for peace) and the three children of of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono (who presides over the possibly the world’s most corrupt and ailing economy).

While the Australian Government maintains financial and travel sanctions against associates of the regime, and generally expresses condemnation of the unfolding human tragedy in Zimbabwe, it is apparently happy to open its doors to the children of Mugabe’s henchmen into Australia and into our best universities.

Totalitarian Zimbabwe is as obnoxious as Saddam’s Iraq, another regime Australia saw fit to scorn and sanction. The Australian Government’s tacit welcome to the Mugabe regime’s children in 2007 is tantamount to rolling out the red carpet to the children of the Hussein clan, or to the children of any number of other despotic governments who oppressed their population as the world watched on with disgust.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey