Sunday, 4 September 2016

Minister dress down Annan Group for asking SADC to end Zim crisis

Last week the “Group of Elders” comprising notable individuals like the former UN Secretary General Koffi Annan, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Ms Graca Machel advised SADC leaders to facilitate "a transition in Zimbabwe". The group was concerned with Zimbabwe’s worsening economic crisis and warned the country could slide into the abyss and take the region with it. Sadly the regional body paid no heed.
“Minister Mumbengegwi said, "There was no discussion on Zimbabwe, but one country did mention that it had received this letter from three people who said they were part of an NGO calling itself 'The Elders'. The Heads of State were actually quite angry about that letter. They said, 'These three think that we are puppets. Summit should reject this attempt by the three individuals to set an agenda for us,” reported the Sunday News.
"The Head of State who had brought it said, 'I agree that we should reject it totally. I just wanted to find out if others had received the letter that I received.' It turned out that the majority of Heads of State, including Zimbabwe, had not received the letter which was unanimously thrown out in the end. In Sadc, we have our own way of doing things if we think something needs to be done. In this particular case, no one thinks there is anything that needs to be done."
My guess is the minister is being very selective and quoting from the one SADC leader who is sympathetic to the Zanu PF regime and, like Mugabe himself, refusing to acknowledge the reality that Zimbabwe is sinking deeper and deeper into the economic abyss and is now totally helpless to stop the sinking. Zimbabwe is not new to having political and economic crisis and forcing SADC to step in to help.
The Zimbabwe economy sunk to new world record breaking lows in 2000 to 2008 when inflation reached 500 billion per cent, there was nothing in shops, etc. It was not surprising that Zimbabweans risked life and limp to force regime change just to end the economic crisis. Mugabe’s response was to use even more brutal violence to force people to vote for him. Not even SADC could turn a blind eye to such barbarism; they demanded that Mugabe accepted to formation of GNU which would be tasked to implement democratic reforms so the vote rigging and wanton violence of 2008 will never be repeated.
Sadly none of the reforms were implemented allowing Mugabe to blatantly rig the 2013 elections and putting the country back when it was in before the 2008 elections with the same corrupt and tyrannical Zanu PF regime back in power.
Mugabe was able to rig the national elections but could not rig economic recovery. Whatever little economic recovery the country had enjoyed during the GNU quickly disappear as corruption and mismanagement returned with vengeance. Unemployment has surged to 90% plus and so too has corruption, millions of Zimbabweans now live in abject poverty, there is no clean running water and power cuts are now the norm, etc.
Only those SADC leaders who have their heads buried in the sand, like Mugabe would not have seen that Zimbabwe is back in the same economic and political crisis it was in run-up to 2008.
The only reason SADC leaders would be loathed to intervene again in Zimbabwe’s never ending crisis is exactly that – it is a never ending crisis. Morgan Tsvangirai and his fellow MDC leaders had the chance to implement the democratic reforms and end the crisis but instead chose to do nothing. SADC leaders did their best to remind MDC to implement the reforms but were ignored. As long as SADC leaders have corrupt and incompetent opposition leaders like Tsvangirai to work with they know no reforms will never be implemented and so why bother be involved again.
The Group of Elders are asking SADC not to give up on Zimbabwe for no better reason than that the consequence of Zimbabwe sinking an deeper into the abyss are unthinkable for the people of Zimbabwe and the region as a whole. With so much at stake the Group of Elders are right in risking abuse from Mugabe and his Ministers and highlight this serious problem.

Everyone knows Mugabe hates to hear the truth spoken about him and his regime and we all know of the regime’s abrasive nature and abusive language! Minister Mumbengegwi was just giving the Group of Elders a timely reminder of both. 

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