By Idah Mhetu
SADC has failed to deal with consistent Afro-phobia especially in South Africa and should not expect any positive return from the so-called anti-sanctions march undertaken last month, a Zimbabwean opposition leader has said.
South Africa based Freezim Congress leader, Joseph Makamba Busha said the call by the regional leaders for the removal of sanctions was hollow and meaningless. He said it exhibited lack of depth and leadership qualities.
Sadc at its meeting of Heads of State and government in Tanzania two months ago designated October 25 as a day their respective countries were going to call for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe’s leadership by America and the European Union 2001 and 2003.
Several leaders including Zambia’s Edgar Lungu argued their economies have also been affected by the sanctions.
Makamba Busha told a press conference in Harare Friday, that Zimbabweans are demanding reforms and not the “anti-sanctions nonsense.”
“That is bizarre for Sadc to try and endorse a country that is struggling economically to stop all business activity to demand the removal of sanctions. Their countries did not call for a holiday but the regional economic sick child that they claim to be assisting, stopped everything to blow millions on a meaningless march.
“Zimbabweans want reforms; they want the Public Order and Security Act removed, they want the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act repealed. Not all this nonsense,” Makamba Busha said.
He added: “That so-called march is meaningless. They as leaders have failed to deal with xenophobia. We have people being killed every year with little in terms of solutions from those in power.
“It’s solidarity by a group of clueless people.”
Over a week ago, thousands of mainly Zanu PF supporters staged a 3km march from an open space on the peripheries of the Harare CBD to the National Sports Stadium, in protest over the continued existence of Western imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Makamba Busha said the least Sadc leaders should do is listen to ordinary Zimbabweans and hear their plight.
“It is wrong for the Sadc leaders to endorse the sanctions issue when they do not listen to the concerns of Zimbabweans. They do not listen to the concerns of political parties in terms of reforms. They do not come out and denounce xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa.
“President Cyril Ramaphosa (of South Africa) himself only apologised after being booed by Zimbabweans at the funeral of the late former President Robert Mugabe,” he said.
The European Union (EU) and United States imposed a trade and travel ban on some top Zanu PF officials at the turn of the century accusing them of human rights abuses and electoral fraud.
Mugabe, at the time, had endorsed a chaotic and violent land redistribution exercise that was anchored on the compulsory expropriation of white owned farmland arguing the programme was aimed at redressing colonial land ownership imbalances.