The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has released a statement supporting President Mnangagwa’s ‘concerted efforts’ towards addressing Zimbabwe’s socio-economic issues and rejuvenating the economy, at the same time condemning NGOs and other internal forces for trying to destabilise the country.
Released yesterday and signed by the Committee’s Chairperson, Namibian President- Hage Geingob, the statement throws weight behind the Zimbabwean government which is currently under siege from a myriad of political and socio-economic challenges.
“The Consultative meeting of the Southern African Development Committee of Heads of States and Government, held on 9 February 2019, received a briefing from His Excellency Mr Emerson Mnangagwa…
“The SADC Heads of State and Government noted that since coming to power, the new government of Zimbabwe has continued with concerted efforts to address the socio-economic challenges and transform the economy, particularly through the Zimbabwe Transitional Stabilisation Programme (2018-2020), and to consolidate unity and peace in the country.
“This, not withstanding, some internal groups, in particular NGOs, supported by external forces, continue with efforts to destabilise the country,” part of the statement reads.
SADC’s observations however come in the backdrop of a series of condemnations by the International community on Human Rights abuses experienced in the country over the past few weeks allegedly perpetuated by the government.
Since President Mnangagwa won the highly disputed election in July last year, Zimbabwe has been in a political crisis with the main opposition, MDC Alliance, refusing to acknowledge him as the legitimate leader.
The crisis has given birth to a series of violent demonstrations by the people against the government prompting it to unleash a heavy crackdown on civilians through the deployment of armed forces into the streets.
Use of force, torture and violence by the armed forces to quell dissent is synonymous with former President Robert Mugabe’s leadership system and has so far marred President Mnangagwa’s ‘new dispensation’ mantra.
The situation has also attracted negative attention from abroad, with international powers, in particular, the United States and the United Kingdom, withdrawing their support of the new administration.
However, the Southern African body further noted that the Zimbabwean government’s efforts of bringing stability in the country are being derailed by ‘illegal sanctions that were imposed on the country since the early 2000s.’
President Geingob added that, “SADC expresses its solidarity with the Government and people of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and calls upon the international community to unconditionally lift all sanctions imposed on the country.”
He further called upon all stakeholders in Zimbabwe to take heed of the dialogue call made by President Mnangagwa in an effort to address the country’s challenges.