The meeting of President Mnangagwa and his Botswana counterpart Mokgweetsi Masisi to discuss issues of regional peace and security could not have come at a better time, as Zimbabwe gets into the groove of independence month.
Independence, or self-rule by the black majority, is what brought Southern African people together.
Botswana played a critical role in supporting Zimbabwe’s independence war by being a gateway for young liberation fighters, totally ignoring threats from Rhodesia’s racist government.
Mozambique and Zambia were the main hosts for Zimbabwe’s liberation war which was also supported by Tanzania and other African countries including Algeria, where freedom fighters were trained.
When Zimbabwe finally gained independence in April 1980, the country was quick to intervene in the Mozambique Civil War which ended in 1994.
Prior to the civil war, Mozambique, like Zimbabwe, was ravaged by a war for independence from 1964-1974.
A Renamo insurgency was to follow between 2013 and 2019 before the ongoing insurgency in Cabo Delgado which started in 2017.
The reminder for Zimbabwe during this year’s Independence Day celebrations is that Mozambique is yet to enjoy her independence.
Mozambique’s support for freedom in Zimbabwe led to the death of thousands at the hands of white supremacists, while support for South Africa’s freedom led to the cowardly assassination of founding president and freedom fighter, Samora Moisés Machel.
Surely, Mozambique needs a break. And Zimbabwe is not free until Mozambique is free.
Angola, Botswana, Comoros, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia are not free, until Mozambique is free.
We welcome the bold statement by Presidents Mnangagwa and Masisi that Sadc member states are not going to stand aside and watch while terrorists and non-state actors threaten regional peace and security as well as the integrity and sovereignty of Mozambique.
President Mnangagwa, is the outgoing chairperson of the Sadc Organ of Politics, Defence and Security, while President Masisi is the current chairperson with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa being the incoming chairperson to form the powerful Sadc Troika.
Addressing journalists after a closed-door meeting with his Botswana counterpart, President Mnangagwa said issues to do with regional peace and security featured prominently in the discussions.
On his part, President Masisi who left soon after the meeting on Wednesday, said the tête-à-tête will result in action being taken in Mozambique where terrorists have killed hundreds of people in the Cabo Delgado region.
Just last week, the Islamic terrorists with links to the ISIS left a trail of blood in the region’s town of Palma where they killed dozens of people including foreigners, drawing global condemnation.
The people of Mozambique must find hope, support and refuge in Sadc. Independence that was hard won in the region must be enjoyed by all. The blood of thousands that was shed during the fight for self-rule did not go to waste. Sadc must act fast, and act decisively. The message to terrorists — including the internationally dreaded ISIS — and any other formations bent on destabilising the region, must be loud and clear.
An injury to one, is an injury to all!