BY Veneranda Langa
SOUTHERN Africa Trade Unions Co-ordination Council (SATUCC) president Losi Zingiswa has questioned Sadc leaders’ decision to give President Emmerson Mnangagwa a pat on the back for maintaining peace in the region at a time there is instability and gross human rights abuses in his own backyard.
She was responding to a recent Sadc summit communiqué which commended Mnangagwa for ensuring regional peace during his tenure as chairperson of the bloc’s troika on peace and security.
Zingiswa reminded Sadc leaders that they derived their power from the electorate and therefore should act in the interests of the people and workers.
SATUCC is a regional organisation representing all major trade unions in southern Africa.
“There are some people that say that the problems in Zimbabwe are supposed to be solved by the people of Zimbabwe, but we want to reiterate that if Zimbabwe further implodes beyond a point we have never seen, it will become difficult for this region to recover and stand for prosperity,” Zingiswa said on Friday.
“One can only look at the Syrian crisis and the effects on its neighbours to realise that we cannot wait for the worst to happen in Zimbabwe because Zimbabwe has great potential in the region.”
Zingiswa said Zimbabwe was the breadbasket of southern Africa and it was unacceptable to watch the country being on the brink of collapse and starvation.
“Its people are now scattered all over the region,” she said.
“It was disturbing for us to see Sadc actually congratulating Mnangagwa for maintaining peace and stability in the region and we are saying — where is the peace when Zimbabweans are living in fear and when workers are suffering and are not free?
“We want to reiterate that our freedom cannot be enjoyed unless the people of Zimbabwe are entirely free and they enjoy their rights enshrined in the Constitution and international labour statutes,” she said.