South Africa and the SADC have been reluctant to take firm action against Mugabe despite his vote rigging and use of violence to repress his opponents. Zimbabwe is practically paralysed. it needs the support of the international community lo lift it from its current misery and to allow the Zimbabweans to live in dignity.
Countries shouldn’t be at the mercy of regimes that have disregards for basic human rights, including the right to life. As such the world should use its means to save endangered lives and not to consider threatening cases like cholera and other endemic diseases as an internal matter.
For Mugabe to refuse humanitarian aid should be seen as a crime against humanity. He has no right to take the Zimbabweans his hostage just for his survival. It goes without saying that the survival of a country is far important than the survival of a regime; especially, the one that has no respect for human rights.
In the case of Zimbabwe, African leaders are unlikely to take any action - military or economic- against Mugabe. The West should have the determination to find means to save the Zimbabweans at least from the spread of cholera and famine before finding the means of saving them from the chronically ailing Mugabe regime.
The West has had successful interventions in Liberia and Sierra Leone that were torn by savage civil wars. Why not give a try to find a permanent solution to the current situation in Zimbabwe?
The West needn't show double standards by quickly intervening in strategic parts of the world like Iraq and ignoring areas that aren't a threat to its interests.
In view of the current economic crisis affecting the West, it's unlikely there will be drastic interventions in countries like Burma and Zimbabwe. As long as such countries aren't a threat to strategically political balance, there will just the policy of wait-and-see or the policy of first-things-first.
It's laudable to intervene to redress political situations in foreign countries notorious for human rights abuses. But there are the political calculations that set priorities. Statistically, how many countries are known for the violation of human rights and is it feasible to intervene in all of them? Singling out one countries among the rest won't set a good example. As such there will always be regimes that can escape sanctions and interventions as long as they have the stick to deal with their people and the carrot to coax outside forces; especially the West with vast interests in them.