'Sadc, AU must heed early warnings from Zim'

HARARE - The 15-member Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and the African Union (AU) must heed the early warnings from Zimbabwe as public unrest escalates in the crisis-torn country, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition warned yesterday.

The warning comes as Zimbabweans stayed away last Wednesday and foreign banks and most businesses in the capital shut down, in one of the biggest protests against high unemployment, an acute cash shortage and corruption for nearly a decade.

“As we have indicated previously, unresolved political and economic crises post the hugely-contested July 31, 2013 elections have continuously cast a dark cloud over Zimbabwe,” Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson Dumisani Nkomo said in a statement.

“Over the past few weeks, reported incidents of violence in different parts of the country have borne witness to the failure of the current government to decisively and successfully deal with a collapsing economy.

“The disintegration of the ruling Zanu PF, deep factionalism and failure to deal with the succession issue have exacerbated the already volatile situation.”

President Robert Mugabe last weekend said salary delays for public workers was “a temporary problem” and not a reason for teachers, doctors and nurses to down tools.

“The enemy has his eye on overthrowing Zanu PF,” Mugabe told a political rally north of Harare, his first after this week’s protests.

“The issue of salary delays is a temporary problem. It’s not a reason for teachers, doctors and nurses to go on strike. Most of them don’t understand where we have come from during times of colonialism,” Mugabe said.

Evan Mawarire, a pastor whose social media movement #ThisFlag organised the “stay-away”, demanded that the 92-year-old president dismiss corrupt Cabinet ministers and can plans to introduce bond notes or face another two-day shut-down on Wednesday and Thursday this week.

“We note with serious concern that all the gains made during the period of the government of national unity (2009-2013) have been systematically reversed, leaving the country vulnerable to conditions that do not satisfy principles of good and democratic governance but lead to uncertainty and ferment unrest,” Nkomo said.

The army was last week deployed in the restive border town of Beitbridge where protesters angry about a new ban on imports set on fire a warehouse belonging to the State revenue authority.

“We appreciate efforts made by the South African government in dealing with the impasse at the Beitbridge Border Post and its insistence on securing peace, allowing for people and goods to move freely between Zimbabwe and South Africa,” Nkomo said.

“We also ask that Sadc and the AU take note of the current unrest in the country, included the clamping down on peaceful protest and closure of civic space. These institutions cannot sit by and watch the country continue to fall apart without making any meaningful intervention. The people of Zimbabwe have suffered long enough and it is time for a lasting solution to be found.”

Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo has warned Zimbabweans against engaging in any form of unsanctioned protests that were likely to disturb peace, adding that the government had enough capacity to deal with such disturbances.

Comments (2)

Has SADC done anything on worsening Mozambican situation?No.Wishful thinking.Yu can flog a dead horse bt it wont blink an eye.

viola gwena - 13 July 2016

Sadc is useless, AU is worse if one day our country will get independence from Zanu Pf , we would urge the new government to pull out and never return from those two useless organs

Lloyd - 13 July 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.