THE African Union, the Southern Africa Development Community and Zimbabwe’s all weather friend — China — have all come out in support of the country in the wake of renewed efforts by the West — particularly the United States of America — to ratchet pressure for regime change.
The solidarity of Sadc states is crucial as they are Zimbabwe’s neighbours with intimate knowledge of the goings on in the country and are therefore better placed to pass judgment.
As a former member of the Frontline States — the precursor to Sadc — Zimbabwe is bound by the founding values of the bloc and always submits itself to its counsel.
Following the recent 32nd Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia and South Africa have come out and publicly backed Zimbabwe as it works towards stabilising and growing its economy.
Botswana President Mokgweetsi Masisi last week said his country stands with Zimbabwe in the face of its “complex” situation and has called for the removal of illegal sanctions imposed by the West.
He said his country was fully behind the statement issued by Sadc whose chairman and Namibian President Hage Geingob called for the removal of sanctions and lent weight to Zimbabwe following weeks of onslaught by the opposition and foreign forces meant to isolate and punish the country.
President Masisi underscored his country’s commitment to fight in Zimbabwe’s corner.
“In solidarity with Zimbabwe, we prepared a communiqué issued by the Southern African Development Community and as Botswana we stand by it,” he said adding that it was extremely difficult for Zimbabwe to operate a modern economy without accessing lines of credit.
President Masisi said there was a need to appreciate the complexity of the situation in Zimbabwe.
“As the AU and Sadc we don’t want to interfere in Zimbabwe but try to give support to Zimbabwe to be orderly and peaceful. To do that you have to appreciate that the situation there is complex,” he said.
In a communique issued after the AU summit, Sadc called on the international community to unconditionally lift all sanctions imposed on the country and condemned “in the strongest terms” pre-planned and well-coordinated violence perpetrated by the opposition MDC Alliance and its foreign funded civic society affiliates which led to the loss life and properties.
On Friday last week, South Africa reaffirmed its commitment to supporting Zimbabwe in addressing socio-economic challenges in the country and reiterated its call for the removal of sanctions imposed by the West.
Speaking in Parliament during a debate on the State of the Nation Address, the neighbouring country’s International Relations and Co-operation Minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe would boost the country’s economy and her country would do whatever it takes to help ease the socio-economic challenges in Zimbabwe.
“Zimbabwe has had an on-going, challenging socio-economic situation which has inadvertently had an impact on us in South Africa. The President (Cyril Ramaphosa) has been in engagements with the President of Zimbabwe (Cde Emmerson Mnangagwa), and we now have a clearer picture of what is happening in Zimbabwe. As such, we stand ready to assist in addressing the challenges that face Zimbabwe because they impact on us,” said Minister Sisulu.
“We would like to express our support for the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe in order to allow for economic development in that country.”
She said South Africa and Zimbabwe have a long standing relationship dating back to the period of the liberation struggle.
‘We have had a very long standing relationship with the people of Zimbabwe from the time we were in the struggle. At any time they need our assistance, they are able to request our assistance,” said Minister Sisulu.
We welcome and appreciate the support and solidarity of Sadc and other African states as Zimbabwe needs all the help it can get to overcome its challenges.
We call on the West to listen to the voice of Africa and unconditionally lift sanctions.
We also note the encouraging messages of support from China which has said it is confident that Zimbabwe will achieve its developmental goals under the leadership of President Mnangagwa.
As the world’s second biggest economy, China stands in good stead to assist Zimbabwe attain its Vision 2030.
The country enjoys peace and stability having quashed attempts to engineer a revolt against the Government through acts of sabotage, banditry and anarchy unleashed by opposition elements during the violent protests.
We feel it is time everyone focused on nation building and the economy which requires all hands on deck to get it back on track.
With the support of our neighbours, the wider African continent and the economic might of China, Zimbabwe can reawaken from its slumber and take its rightful place in the community of nations.
All that is needed is unity of purpose among all Zimbabweans (including the opposition). The toxic politics of kudira jecha is not only childish but self-defeating.