SA Opposition Leader Slams AU For Lack Leadership In Assisting Zimbabweans

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By Alois Vinga

SOUTH Africa’s opposition leader, Mmusi Maimane has slammed the African Union (AU) for failing to take a decisive action in assisting Zimbabweans who have been crying for help against state sponsored oppression.

Maimane is the leader of One South Africa Movement and before that he served as president of the Democratic Alliance, the official opposition party in South Africa.

However, he remains bitter over how the AU turned a blind eye to a state-sponsored crackdown against Zimbabweans who were planning to hold the #July31 mass protests on corruption in the country. The protests were foiled security forces.

Maimane made the comments following a virtual two-day AU summit held last weekend, which saw South Africa President relinquishing the chairperson post to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) leader Felix Tshisekedi.

Mousa Faki was also re-elected as chairperson of the AU Commission on Saturday.

However, Maimane ridiculed AU leaders of congratulating each other when they were doing “bare minimum”.

He also slammed the AU for its failure to show leadership by assisting Zimbabweans during a crackdown in the country in July last year.

“African leaders congratulate themselves for doing the bare minimum. The youth of Zimbabwe cried out. Last year the youth of Nigeria cried out and you turned a blind eye. The people of Uganda were crushed this January,” Maimane said.

He described himself as a polite man but highlighted that sometimes he wondered if Africa’s leaders are too diplomatic in their discussions of the colossal failure of the continent.

“Dictators are running amok. Poverty is increasing in Sub-Saharan Africa. Terror threats are expanding their reach. How can we like any of this?” Maimane queried.

During the foiled #July31 protests, scores of opposition politicians, journalists and activists were arrested. They included Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume, MDC Alliance leaders Job Sikhala and Fadzayi Mahere, journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and writer Tsitsi Dangarembga.