Anger over Sadc, AU silence on Zim

HARARE - The silence by the African Union (AU) and the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) on the on-going human rights abuses in Zimbabwe has drawn widespread condemnation from critics and neutrals alike.

While many were expecting the deteriorating situation in Zimbabwe to feature prominently at the 32nd ordinary session of the AU held in Addis Ababa from February 10 to 13, the former Organisation of African Union completely ignored the crisis.

As if to rub salt into the wound, Sadc chairperson Hage Geingob issued a provocative statement on Monday, blaming Non-Governmental Organisations and perceived external forces of seeking to destabilise Zimbabwe.

This followed the killing of 12 protesters by the army and police last month after a three-day stay-away organised by the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) turned violent.

Nearly 80 people sustained serious gunshot wounds.

In the aftermath of the protests, witnesses spoke of serious human rights abuses by members of the security forces.

The world, including the United Nations, also condemned the sad events in Zimbabwe and called on the authorities in Harare to use restraint is responding to protests.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government blames a third force for stirring the demonstrations, coordinated by the ZCTU to protest massive hikes in fuel prices.

As if reading from a script prepared by officials in Harare, Geingob also called for the removal of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by western nations, claiming these were negatively affecting the economy. 

He said as Sadc they stood with the people of Zimbabwe and the government.

Yesterday, analysts reacted angrily to Sadc’s statement saying it sanitises the brutal crackdown on activists and opposition leaders by Mnangagwa’s government.

Professor of World Politics at the School of Oriental and African Studies in the United Kingdom Stephen Chan said Sadc, as an inter-governmental organisation, has a general rule not to criticise member governments in public.

“Having said that, this statement is disappointing in its failure to recognise underlying reasons for citizen discontent and the extent of economic mismanagement for the last 20 years: In such situations, a statement would normally at least begin with the words, ‘member governments noted with concern...’ One only hopes that more meaningful words were spoken behind closed doors, as the meltdown in Zimbabwe makes it the most poorly performing of all the Sadc states, and this in itself has a negative effect on Sadc’s mission of economic cooperation and integration,” Chan said.

United Kingdom-based Kent University law lecturer Alex Magaisa said Sadc was listening to the voice of a perpetrator and based its judgement on a single voice.

“…It did not even seek the views of other stakeholders. No wonder some citizens long lost hope in Sadc. It’s like a trade union where Sadc simply represents the interests of its member. 

“Sadc grabs and elevates Zanu PF’s cheap propaganda. No word on the egregious human rights abuses by the security services and Zanu PF sponsored youths, even as they confess. Villains cast as victims, victims as villains. And they expect the world to take them seriously?” Magaisa queried on his Twitter account.

Political analyst Admire Mare said Sadc’s statement is a true reflection of what parties born out of liberation movements view the Zimbabwe situation.

He said while the statement is a clear solidarity posture with Zanu PF, it postpones the resolution of the Zimbabwe issue to another day in future. 

“These statements are not new at all we have seen more like these ones during the (former president Robert) Mugabe era. One is left wondering if regional bodies like Sadc are fit for purpose or urgently need surgical reforms like the UN. It’s clearly a checkmate on Nelson Chamisa and the MDC Alliance in terms of regional diplomacy,” Mare said.

Political analyst Rashweat Mukundu said Sadc is clearly out of touch with the concerns of the people in Zimbabwe and those of the people in southern Africa.

Mukundu said the issues affecting and dragging down Zimbabwe are well known, including a massive violation of human rights and extra-judicial killings of citizens, beatings, breaking into homes by the security service, soldiers and police.

He said the regional grouping is losing its purpose and was only seeking to protect one of its own rather than dealing with the fundamental issues affecting the people.

MDC official David Coltart said Geingob’s statement was disgraceful.

Writing on his Twitter page, Coltart said, “…the only absolute truth in it (the statement) was that it followed a briefing from (Mr) Mnangagwa. The rest of it reads more like a Zanu PF propaganda sheet than an objective view of #Zimbabwe. The claim that they stand by the people is an insult”.

Political analyst Piers Pigou also queried Sadc’s genuineness on resolving the Zimbabwe issue.

“Must Sadc remain a perennial disappointment on Zimbabwe? Geingob echoing unsubstantiated rumour and allegation. Why must Sadc insist on shaming itself? (And where’s the final Sadc election report on July 2018 elections … and for that matter the final report on the 2013 elections),” Pigou said on Facebook.

Exiled former Higher and Tertiary Education minister Jonathan Moyo said Sadc was missing the point and had misrepresented the situation in Zimbabwe.

“@Sadc_News As always, #Sadc does not get it. This statement is gross misrepresentations of the grave situation in Zimbabwe; apparently based on Mnangagwa’s self-indulgent brief that flies in the face of tragic facts that are speaking for themselves on the ground!” he wrote on Twitter.

    Comments (23)

    AU and SADC kept quiet about the situation in the country because they are aware that the organisers of regime change want the two organs to put the country on their agenda. They are not going to discuss the issue until proponents of regime change stop the nuisance they are doing

    Phyto Andro - 13 February 2019

    Dailynews iterviewed the usual opposition mouthpieces - Chan etc. There is no crisis in Zimbabwe except looting and vandalism by MDC goons. So somoen wanted SADC to call looting and vandalism a regional or continental crisis.

    willo - 13 February 2019

    I did not se prof moyo's comments - Prof - 'Where is the SOMETHING IS HAPPENING' you referred to?

    willo - 13 February 2019

    Zimbabweans should just forget about SADC and AU, where were they when Mugabe unleashed gukurahundi, what did they do, 1980 massacres, they even said the lections were free and fair, 2018 elections and the killings that followed, what did they say, to them poor people are cheap blood that can be spilled anytime anyhow especially if its Zimbabweans. They do not care an iota about the people but what they get from the thugs masquerading as government.

    Kufandada - 13 February 2019

    Arson and looting by MDC - Alliance is not a crisis unless the person saying its a crisis has mental health issues. We want law and order in Zimbabwe and anybody who breaks the law must be imprisoned. Full stop.

    Ndiani Ndiani - 13 February 2019

    Guys, it seems some of you don't understand how these organisations operates. Whether its SADC, AU or whatever organisation, as long as it is for an African agenda.....they have what we call "Protocols" they always follow. Look here, MDC is working for foreigners and they have an interest in Zimbabwe...How can you expect these organisations to go against their mandate. Musango hukura zvenhando cz these organisations have their mandates and protocols and its clear that they will never usurp to any pressure from the Westerners as in the MDC case. As long as the agenda for the opposition is foreign, them they have to forget and smile. Who doesn't know that MDC is a puppet opposition groupings sponsored by the Western stock? Even this publication (Daily News) , why going as far as quoting your only source who is based in the West...by the name Chan.....Shame on the Editors.....We have many officials working in African and mostly in SADC region who can answer your questions better than that little known Professor by the name Chan who is agent of the regime change in Zimbabwe. Daily news is stooping so low when it comes to the Chan issue. We have many and better opinion leaders who can explain far better than your "Chan". Apart from that...the story has been recycled because, this is not the first time we have read this story which should be spiked anyway. Its high time, Daily News should drop the chips from their shoulders. I know, the minions, G 40 is behind your financial back up but when they get broke, you will close. Remember, they wanted to launch their own publication sometime last year and they hired one of your Editors who is now suffering from "Bipolar"diseases because of stress. He was given a Mercedes Benz to drive and now he has no job because of the G40.....Next time..don't be flabbergasted when your pages will have no adverts when the economy improves. Those political commentators will be history. Be forewarned.

    Clemence Tashaya - 13 February 2019

    Zombies with water logged heads like Willo should just shut their stinking mouths rather than displaying their stupidness on a platform like this.How can he say looting was done by MDC people when some zanu pf cult party youth leader appeared before the courts on charges of looting and burning of a bus along Byo Road?These zanunoids are so blinkered that they can even kill their own children in cold blood if their party leaders tells them to do so.They have no purpose in life besides being used to do dirty jobs for their leaders to guarantee them their stay in power for as long as they want.They forget that if people fail to liberate themselves from the zanu pf bondage,nature has its own ways of dealing with such situations,and it is beyond the understanding of a human being.SADC is a club of tired ,old dictators and those the newly elected presidents who are still learning the ropes on "The best way to become a good dictator".When it comes to countries within their group,they see no evil nor hear evil even when their fellow comrades are butchering their own people in cold blood.Its main function is to support whoever becomes president by hook or crook and they are always prepared to defend their murderous comrades at all costs.Afew weeks before Mugabe was overthrown,no SADC member State had ever raised concern about the way Mugabe was abusing Zimbabweans save for the only democratic leader Ian Khama.Upon Mugabe's downfall they all rallied behing Mnangagwa besides the fact that he had taken charge of the country through a coup.So much for these SADC despots disguising as leaders!

    janana wa Bikaz madhogodhogo - 13 February 2019

    daily news please reduce polarisation and interview mixed people with divergent views, too much magaisa, chan etc with same agendas. As for Jonathan Moyo, spare the nation please, the same man who used to big the same SADC when he was Bob's witch. be ashamed

    Paulus - 13 February 2019

    @ janana - It is now typical of behaviour of Chamisa and MDC-A to stir commotion and cause havoc at any events where they do not get things their way or where they are not wanted. Pavasingadiwe vano shandisa chikiribidi and gatecrush. Look what happened at Tsvangirayi and Mtukudzi funeral, and at the Nat'l stadium. Ndo yangove modus operandi and mentality ye MDC-A. Ukavati demonstrate and march peacefully, all you get is rowdy and thuggish behaviour, looting and property destruction. MDC-A yangove party ye looting and destruction, its not surprising it is likened to RENAMO. And SADC and AU cannot listen to such!!

    Will Blackman - 13 February 2019

    SADC and AU are totally and shamelessly tied to the old, decrepid, thieving corrupt liberation movements of Africa. They all live in the Stone Age. Africa is a hopeless continent because of wholesale theft and patronage of the old clique. But, you Africans, its your fault.

    Is that so? - 13 February 2019

    Daily News writes: "...condemnation from critics and neutrals alike..." So who are these so called 'neutrals'? It's also funny that, yesterday, the Daily News published a story about a US Govt statement condemning the Zim Govt for the so called 'crisis. The weirdest thing was that the statement was an exact copy of an earlier script from the MDC spokesperson including calls for a 'neutral mediator'. If this statement was truly issued by the US Govt, it just shows the MDC solicited for this condemnation. Sadly for MDC, Americans no longer have leverage in Zim. They imposed sanctions a long time ago and there is nothing else they can do.

    Buns Tinobvinex - 13 February 2019

    Daily news if you are clever enough I think this is the right time to stop propaganda against your own government. The Africa have eyes and ears if not the world. Murikutambiswa bhora risina mweya nemaoppositions

    chamboko - 14 February 2019

    western countries should deal with their countries.....Africa is for Africans .....SO LEAVE US ALONE. Chamisa n Biti stop this thing of trying to sell our beloved Africa to your so called master of Colonialism

    ndini - 14 February 2019

    IMHO Sadc & AU are stone age monoliths which will never improve the lives of ordinary Africans. They are a huge disappointment because they represent the current political rulers not ordinary citizens. For their officials its just a job.....very much like the numerous oppressive tyrants they represent.

    Sagitarr - 14 February 2019

    Daily nonsense is now at full swing again. Your so called analysts are just idiots who dont even care about the suffering of their fellow Zimbabweans caused by their masters. Do you think any reasoning person with good five senses not quarter gigs as chamisa and his lot can tolerate this hooliganism? How can a very responsible organ like SADC be dragged to support the regime change agenda? Its only those being paid by the american government who pretend not to see the truth on the ground, that mdca caused all the problems facing this country. Well done SADC you are showing the puppets that you know their aim.

    shunguhadziurayi - 14 February 2019

    Calling it a crisis without looking at the causes is low minded .There are many issues that has led to this ... it is clear that the opposition sent paid criminals to cause disorder through looting from innocent business people , abusing people , burning cars of people who even voted for them .Gaining power through violence so that the country is declared ungovernable is not a productive move and its unwise.Even America itself would not leave people doing what they want .The good thing is that SADC and AU have noted the strategy of opposing institutes and that is the reason why they are quiet.

    nick - 14 February 2019

    The MDC-a needs real ly good brains to plan their actions . What they do is too obvious for normal reasoning people . They went violent to mar the elections results because they had already seen that they have lost . They went violent , looted and a week or so later they claim rape . All this is done to try to hoodwink AU , SADC to put Zimbabwe on their Agenda on their sitting just a few weeks after the demonstrations . Makanyanga yaona . Your actions are too obvious . People can now read your actions . You went to the Concourt with out evidence simply because there was no evidence and you lost . You now want to come in through the back door by using dialogue . If ED is failing like you say , let him fail so that you get a chance to win next time . You know very well that if you leave him to implement his strategies he will revive the economy and that will be the end of Majigies and his team . That is why you now want to come into some dialogue . We can read you very clearly . Shame on you MDC-A and your allies.

    Hayibo - 14 February 2019

    Africans dictators are the same, so they are supporting what is happening here. They do not care.

    Cossie Dziva - 14 February 2019

    If anyone needs a brain transplant surely people like Haybo are better candidates as their brains have not been used

    Kufandada - 14 February 2019

    To us ALL Zimbabwe needs God and not efforts of man. I am so ashamed some members of zanu pf who talk like they are gods and live in the clouds. they are forgetting what they did in 2008,. there people are living now as destitutes because of them, houses were burnt down in chitungwiza non of them saw it how foolosh and ingnorant they are its shame to such people who always don't see things around them. we will continue to pray God has the answer and not these regional boards I rest my case

    my Zimbabwe - 14 February 2019

    To us ALL Zimbabwe needs God and not efforts of man. I am so ashamed some members of zanu pf who talk like they are gods and live in the clouds. they are forgetting what they did in 2008,. there people are living now as destitutes because of them, houses were burnt down in chitungwiza non of them saw it how foolosh and ingnorant they are its shame to such people who always don't see things around them. we will continue to pray God has the answer and not these regional boards I rest my case

    my Zimbabwe - 14 February 2019

    SADC and AU are just extensions of the ruling parties in Africa and to expect a negative view of the Devil from his demons is a lack of understanding of these political extensions that are set up to control other global groupings like UN. What solutions has AU or SADC profferred to Africans rather than rejecting an constructive criticism from US or EU? We were colonised due to lack of wisdom as a people, now we continue to descend in a bottomless pit because of lack of vision as people. Civilians are killed and raped and ED's argument is because they want to remove me from power? These external elements he is referring to why is he not naming and shame them? ED is really a BOB student.

    Christ In Me - 18 February 2019

    @Is that so? very correct . Agree with Mr. Coltart Geingob's statement is Disgraceful and should be condemned

    Kinte - 18 February 2019

    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.