Sadc urged to intervene in Zim

HARARE - Sadc must intervene in the escalating Zimbabwean crisis and facilitate a smooth transition of power in the country, a group of international elders — Graca Machel, Kofi Annan and Desmond Tutu — have urged.

The elders said “Zimbabwe is on the verge of an important transition which, if handled well, could lead to a peaceful and democratic change of leadership and a renewed focus on social and economic development”.

This comes amid rising protests against President Robert Mugabe’s misrule, among other issues, with police teargassing and brutally attacking civilians in a bid to quash the demonstrations.

Sadc is set to meet for the 36th regional summit in Swaziland from August 30 to 31, to discuss issues affecting southern Africa.

In a letter to Sadc, the elders said “we firmly believe that a successful transition is vital not only for Zimbabwe, but also for the region”.

“We are also convinced that, if the transition process is to succeed, it must be inclusive, transparent and framed in the national interest,” they said in the letter.

Machel, Tutu and Annan form part of The Elders council together with former United States president Jimmy Carter, Martti Ahtisaari, Ela Bhatt, Lakhdar Brahimi Gro Brundtland, Fernando H Cardoso, Hina Jilani, Ricardo Lagos, Mary Robinson and Ernesto Zedillo.

In a statement, the trio said: “The elders call on the heads of State of...Sadc to consider how they can support a successful and inclusive transition in Zimbabwe that will return stability and growth to the country.”

“The elders believe the upcoming summit is an important opportunity to reflect on how best Sadc can help Zimbabwe manage the complex challenges ahead.”

This comes as civil society organisations have raised a red flag on human rights violations at the hands of Zimbabwe authorities, particularly the police.

In November 2008, the elders attempted to visit Zimbabwe to draw attention to the deteriorating humanitarian situation in the country but were denied entry.

At the time, Machel said: “Either the leadership doesn’t have a clear picture of how deep the suffering is of their own people, or they don’t care.”

Comments (8)

Its interesting to see how SADC will react to this observation. Its only next week that they get together and the world is watching. Its about time they tackle this Mugabe monster head on and throw diplomacy aside. Their countries are as much affected by the instability in Zimbabwe as the people of Zimbabwe themselves.

MR COOPER - 25 August 2016

They shuld deal wth this .Mbeki s quiete diplomacy did little.it was temperal.now they need to tackle this once n for all.Bt my good gues is Va Mugabe wont go there.Theris just toomuch disliking of him everywhere.They defaced Rhodes statues in SA and now the same hapening to va Mugabe.Street named after him defaced.SADC must put a team of Mbeki,Mkapa,Nujoma,Chisano,khama,kaunda.These will talk their friend into joining them.

viola gwena - 25 August 2016

Mugabe is the only problem that Zimbabwe and SADC face. Why not just tell him to go openly. Zimbaweans are telling him and its time for SADC to follow suit.

Ziziharinanyanga - 25 August 2016

When South Africans demonstrate and riot do SADC countries intervene. Or when there are riots in the DRC does SADC intervene. Why do Zimbabweans expect SADC to intervene just because there are riots in Harare. Is it not a case of asking others to fight our cause? Lets be realistic.

Clear - 25 August 2016

@Clear what we are witnessing isn't just a case of a few disgruntled employees objecting to poor conditions but the brutal oppression of an entire nation by a despot dictator and someone far worse that what Ian Smith ever was. It just cannot continue like this as too many suffering people are being brutalized by the Mugabe's illegal Government. SADC intervention is urgently required now.

Mbewa - 26 August 2016

Once they meet Mugabe they forget everything &change there minds.They all see things turning bad in Zim but the truth is they are powerless &ignorant

Matsotsi - 26 August 2016

Please we all know what these people are capable of. SADC was the right tool and right time to make sure they tuckle our issue seriously. hatichada taneta. I salute the Consolidated Opposition parties it shows a step ahead of showing political Growth in Democracy not Dictatorship

Taneta - 26 August 2016

SADC is a toothless bulldog. They have watched helplessely as Mugabe has spread himself all over the place. Incoming SADC Chair Mswati is just another culprit. The future lies in our hands as people of sadc

Masimba MANYANYA GUSHUNGO - 27 August 2016

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