| Henry Olonga
London: Henry Olonga has urged Britain to end the crisis in Zimbabwe through a regime change, if need be through military intervention.
“I am sure Zimbabwe might not threaten world security and we might not also have that much oil, but I think there is a strong case for intervention to happen in a similar way,” the 26-year-old Olonga said in a statement here.
“Whether the war in Iraq was justified, it happened. Now that war is tailing off, may be now would be the time when they would actually intervene in Zimbabwe,” said the fast bowler who was ostracised in Zimbabwe after protesting during the World Cup against Robert Mugabe’s regime.
Olonga’s black armband protest against Mugabe during the World Cup spelt the end of his Zimbabwean cricket career. He is now in England on a work permit, preparing to play for the Kent-based side Lashings.
Olonga is to stage another high-profile black armband protest against Robert Mugabe’s regime during Zimbabwe’s controversial Test series against England this summer.
The strip of ribbon that symbolised the public show of defiance by Olonga and Zimbabwe teammate Andy Flower at the World Cup will be pulled on again when Olonga launches his new career as a television broadcaster at the first Test later this month.
Olonga has decided to repeat his protest in support of Peter Tatchell’s stop the tour campaign. Although the terms of Olonga’s Channel 4 contract prevents him playing a more active role in the demonstrations planned for the Lord’s match and the second Test at Chester-le-Street two weeks later, he gave his blessing to the campaign in a telephone discussion on Thursday.
In his statement, Olonga recalled the decision of England not to play in Harare. “In defence of the British government, they have been one of the most powerful voices against human rights abuses and the bad policies that have been employed in Zimbabwe.
“But if I was asked the question, ‘could they do more'’ I would say yes. So could America, so could all the other countries that were involved in the war in Iraq.
“If their war was based on certain principles, say for example that they believe people should not be oppressed by their governments and dictators should not terrorise their own populace, then the same things are happening in Zimbabwe that happened in Iraq,” Olonga said.