PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe is under pressure to deliver political and economic stability in Zimbabwe after taking over as Sadc chairmanship yesterday.
Opposition MDC-T said they had presented a paper to Sadc to press for a solution to arrest the economic crisis in the country through “productive re-engagement” with Zanu PF.
“We are gearing towards effective takeover of power. What is happening in Zanu PF and the economy convinces us that we carry a tremendous responsibility to save people from poverty,” MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora said. “We presented our document to all heads of state through embassies and secretariat. Our main task as MDC is not unproductive re-engagement with Zanu PF. We are not interested in GNU [government of national unity], but in interventions to save Zimbabweans.”
He said MDC-T wanted Sadc to intervene claiming there was no effective government in the country due to Zanu PF infighting.
“In dealing with interventions we are not seeking comfort for MDC. We want Sadc to impress on Zimbabwe to implement the constitution, create conditions for free and fair elections. Sadc must intervene so that the economic policies which attract investments are implemented,” Mwonzora said.
MDC Team spokesperson Jacob Mafume said: “There is an old trick headmasters used to pull to make the naughty boy the prefect to bring about change of behaviour.
“Now that the naughty boy is a prefect, we are looking at ensuring Sadc will create a platform for him to change his behaviour.
“He should have understood that it was cold in isolation and he would not want to go there again.
“Our message to him is that he then must not only make Zimbabwe proud through eloquent speeches, but implementation of what Sadc aspires to and as he enters into the twilight of his career he has an opportunity to make up for what he did.”
He said the MDC Team would not abandon Sadc as a regional platform.
Analyst Takura Zhangazha said the latest development showed that Zimbabwe was no longer a “hot issue for Sadc and opposition parties should also move on.
“It means Zimbabwe is no longer a Sadc hotspot and the opposition is ill-advised that they can relate to it as they did in the era of inclusive government. Sadc has moved on from treating it as an issue of regional instability,” Zhangazha said.
Sadc civic society organisations (CSOs) that met in Bulawayo at the weekend, however, described the regional grouping as elitist and ignoring the human rights issues in the region.
“Sadc has remained an elitist club pre-occupied with maintaining power at the expense of ad-dressing poverty, unemployment and deep inequalities in the region,” the Sadc CSOs said in a statement.
The CSOs said Sadc should press for human rights improvement across the sub-region, particularly in Swaziland, Angola, Zimbabwe, Malawi and Zambia since human rights are central in achieving sustainable economic development and regional integration.
“While we acknowledge the assumption of Zimbabwe for the Sadc chairmanship, we remain deeply concerned with continued land invasions and internal displacements of Zimbabwe by the elites for self-aggrandisement and resource plundering,” the CSO’s said.