MDC lashes out at Sadc but pleads with regional body to act

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By Thandiwe Garusa

FAILURE by regional power block Sadc to raise issues around the violation of citizens’ rights by President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration has left the opposition seething with anger.

In a statement on Tuesday the opposition MDC led by Nelson Chamisa said Sadc had instead concentrated on trivialities choosing to congratulate Mnangagwa on his appointment as chair of the regional group’s Organ on Politics Defense and Security at a time when security forces had brutally crushed its planned protests country-wide.

“Other than paragraph 6 of the Communique that congratulates Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe as chairperson of the Organ on politics, Defense and Security Cooperation, nothing else is said about Zimbabwe,” the party said in the angry statement.

Chamisa has been looking up to regional power block Sadc and the African Union to reign in Mnangagwa but looks to have lost the battle thus far.

Ironically Mnangagwa will now lead Sadc’s watch over regional security and the Zimbabwean leader has already indicated that he will concentrate his efforts on troubled nations in the Great Lakes Region and Lesotho among other hot-spots.

To make matter worse, Sadc in its communiqué indicated it had set aside October 25th as a special day to push for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe’s leadership by the West especially the US.

“It is disconcerting that Sadc could congratulate Mr Mnangagwa as the new head of the regional body’s organ on Defense and Security at a time when Zimbabweans are suffering insecurity and defenselessness from the regime power in Zimbabwe,” the MDC statement said.

“Zimbabweans have come to know that when Sadc leaders want to ignore or distort the tricky crisis of illegitimacy in Zimbabwe, they wax lyrical about sanctions and express ‘solidarity with Zimbabwe’, while saying and doing nothing about the worsening plight of Zimbabweans.”

The country’s main opposition party added: “Where is Sadc’s responsibility to protect? When will Sadc, just for once, stand with the people of Zimbabwe and express solidarity not with Zimbabwe but with Zimbabweans?”

In conclusion the MDC seemed to admit it had little option but to plead with Sadc to do something on the situation in Harare.

“The MDC urges Sadc to urgently take note of the worsening situation in Zimbabwe as a threat to peace and security in the region and to recognise its responsibility to protect, find lasting solutions to the Zimbabwean crisis anchored on facilitated and credible national dialogue,” said the opposition party.

Chamisa has demanded a face-to-face meeting with Mnangagwa in the wake of disputed elections won by the Zanu PF leader by a slim margin last year.