'Sadc chair lied on Zim situation'

HARARE - Southern African civic society and social movements have taken aim at Southern African Development Community (Sadc) chair Hage Geingob accusing him of “lying” to the whole world about the present Zimbabwean socio-economic and political situation.

Southern African People’s Solidarity Network (SAPSN), a civic group said they were “greatly disturbed and perturbed” by the Namibian president’s conduct which clearly exposed his close links to the Zimbabwean President, Emmerson Mnangagwa.

“Sadc’s statement in response to the Zimbabwean situation lacks balance as it is only based on what Geingob was briefed by the President of Zimbabwe…Mnangagwa without being attentive to the citizenry voices regarding the situation,” SAPSN said in an open letter to the Sadc chair.

The grouping said the conduct by Geingob was a departure from his previous pledge that he will continue to engage with those who would seek engagement with him during his tenure.

The support by Sadc angered opposition leaders and civic society in Zimbabwe who had been hopeful of Mnangagwa’s censure by the regional bloc.

The grouping further urged the regional bloc to appoint a fact finding mission to establish the facts on the ground which include “bizarre acts of torture, killings and rape of women and minors.”

SAPSN also noted that it was unfortunate that Sadc has concurred with the Zimbabwean government’s stance that NGOs with the support of external forces have continued to destabilise the country adding that Sadc’s prolonged silence on Zimbabwe’s deepening crisis was worrisome.

“Contrary to the smear campaign against Zimbabwean civil society organisations, social movements in Zimbabwe are not working in cahoots with external forces to destabilise the Zimbabwean State, instead NGOs are fighting for the entrenchment of democracy and genuine rule of law,” the grouping noted.

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