Sadc must not relent on Mugabe

Zimbabweans across the divide could have welcomed the move by revered Sadc leaders who chose to break ranks with the rest especially as it pertains to Zimbabwe’s socio-political and economic crisis spawned by President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF regime.

Source: Sadc must not relent on Mugabe – NewsDay Zimbabwe October 1, 2016

It is understood why other regional leaders have decided not to expose their divisions. Yet the most important message that emerged from Botswana’s Ian Khama and Namibian President Hage Geingob is that the region is seized with Zimbabwe’s politically explosive situation because of the destabilisation effect.

Some leaders choose to pursue quiet diplomacy while others like Khama are exasperated by Mugabe’s belligerence towards his people and neighbouring countries.

No doubt, no one wants to associate with Mugabe anymore as Zimbabwe’s socio-political challenges have affected the neighbouring countries’ economies. Mugabe himself does not appear to care or at least try to allay their fears. Regrettably he continues to show brazen bravado at the expense of the people. This can never be allowed, for any political office bearer is supposed to be a people’s servant.

It is heart-warming to realise that Sadc leaders are slowly realising that something is seriously wrong in Zimbabwe. However, Zimbabweans would want to know what drastic measures they are taking against a regime that has negated its role as provided in the Constitution.

Otherwise it will not help anyone to be fed up with Mugabe – particularly those who have consciously or unconsciously helped him retain power — through giving the thumbs-up to the fraud of an election that he used to hold on to power against the will of the citizenry.

The citizenry in Zimbabwe particularly liked candid remarks by Khama that Mugabe should step down in view of his advanced age.
Unfortunately, Sadc has collectively done little or nothing to encourage Mugabe to step down, despite appeals made by Zimbabweans.

In fact, Mugabe has been able to hold on to power partly because it was Sadc that provide him with a soft landing pad as the leaders blindly continued to throw their weight behind him at a time when the West had decided to push him out.

Although Geingob indicated that Zimbabweans should fight for themselves, we believe he needs to appreciate that no country is an island, which is the reason why Sadc liberation movements worked together to dislodge oppressive regimes in their countries. Therefore, Zimbabweans would need Sadc as much as Sadc would also need Zimbabwe if their fight for democracy is to succeed.

We are aware Khama has been fighting a lone battle in speaking against Mugabe’s excesses and if other regional leaders could also do the same, this will be a battle half won. Zimbabweans need all the support they can get.

We hope the frustration in the regional leaders will develop into something more concrete — if not for the sake of Zimbabweans, then for their countries because they are intricately linked to our country on many levels.

We applaud Geingob for taking a stance against Mugabe — who believes he is some deity — river or demi-god. We urge him to remain resolute and not follow one of his predecessors, Sam Nujoma, who was one of Mugabe’s greatest cheerleaders.

Africa needs brave, not cheerleaders, if we are to pursue Vision 2063.