Ithemba


What’s Wrong With SADC?
November 11, 2008, 11:52
Filed under: Politics, Southern Africa, Zimbabwe News | Tags: , , , ,

This weekend, at a meeting held in Johannesburg the 15 members of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) met at an extraordinary summit to discuss the political impasse in Zimbabwe and the escalating crisis in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Hopes were high that the auspicious organisation would finally make a stand against the autocratic Robert Mugabe, President of Zimbabwe, and withdraw their support of the oppressive rule he has inflicted upon his country.

As has happened so often in the past, the high hopes were quickly dashed when SADC suggested Mugabe and leader of the opposition, Morgan Tsvangirai, share control of the ministry of home affairs, responsible for the police. The opposition had already agreed that Mugabe should retain control over the army, but wanted the vital ministry of home affairs to be handed over to the MDC. Power sharing with Mugabe will never work, and to suggest he should work with the opposition in a ministry as sensitive as Home Affairs is tantamount to ceding him the entire portfolio.

Mugabe used both the police and the army to great effect earlier this year to brutalise and punish Zimbabweans for voting for the opposition in the March elections – elections won by Tsvangirai, but forced into a runoff after a prolonged vote count last six weeks.

Interestingly, just seven leaders of SADC countries attended the meeting – South Africa, the DRC, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Namibia and Zimbabwe. All countries are staunch allies of Zimbabwe. The remainder sent representatives, perhaps not wanting to get involved in the mess and intrigue that is Zimbabwe.

But by staying away those leaders sent the wrong message to desperate Zimbabweans and to the rest of the world. The refusal by responsible heads of state to take a stand and criticise Robert Mugabe is tantamount to supporting the atrocities he has committed to stay in power. Mugabe knows now his position is secure, and that he can continue to beat, brutalise and kill the ordinary people in Zimbabwe to ensure he remains in power without any responsibility towards and concern for the welfare the people.

The meeting did address SADC’s concerns for the developing situation in the DRC. Ironically, some reports claim Mugabe is bolstering his own country’s presence in that country, sending additional troops to support DRC’s President Joseph Kabila’s army. Amazing that Mugabe can find the resources to provide this support while half his country faces starvation. And if true, Robert Mugabe is contributing towards instability in the DRC.

Interesting, concern was expressed about the outbreak of cholera in the refugee camps in the DRC. Cholera has also broken out in several of Zimbabwe’s towns and cities, yet SADC’s silence on Zimbabwe’s cholera cases is yet again a silent support for Robert Mugabe.

Does a human life have any value in Africa? Yes, according to SADC. But not if you’re a Zimbabwean.

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Great beginning to your new blog, albeit a sad and cringe-worthy one.

Keep up speaking out, because the more people become aware of the atrocities, the quicker (or so I pray) change will happen.

Comment by almarquardt

Great opening entry to your new journal, and I’ll be checking this space frequently to keep up with news of Africa and especially of the atrocity that Zimbabwe has become.

There’s always the hope that our President-elect, a man of African heritage, may bring more attention to the plight of the region. At least the country has selected a vice president who knows that there are individual countries on the African continent…

Comment by ncpenman

It never seems to change, does it? The SADC countries should hang their heads in shame – both those who attended and bolstered that megalomaniac Mugabe, and those who didn’t speak and so allowed it.

Again, African nations have proven they are not capable of standing up for human rights, so they should not complain when other nations from other continents step in to do something.

Trouble is, as shown in the DRC and other areas of the world, the UN is a paper tiger. What hope do the people of Zimbabwe have – none, until Mugabe and his henchmen are gone.

Comment by lindamv




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