By Leopold Munhende
MDC Alliance deputy chairperson Job Sikhala believes the recent war of words between South Africa’s ruling ANC and President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration was evidence the regional bloc, SADC would soon intervene and speak out against Zimbabwe’s political and economic crisis.
Sikhala was speaking to journalists in Harare following this week’s re-arrest of journalist Hopewell Chin’ono on charges of defeating the course justice.
The Zengeza West lawmaker, who was speaking to the media as the spokesperson of the #31July Movement, said Mnangagwa was alone in the region with no notable ally as the world now knew of his dictatorial tendencies.
“If you realise the world’s view about Zimbabwe, whether they are fooling themselves or not, this regime has no friends any longer. The world is now aware of the way citizens of this country have been abused,” said Sikhala, who was flanked by Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.
“In the recent past, we have noticed serious developments. For the first time South Africa speaking that Zimbabwe has a crisis, even when Zimbabwe was at the peak of its crisis in 2008 (SA) President Thabo Mbeki came to Zimbabwe and said there was no crisis.
“But today, you can see SA Minister of Foreign Affairs (Naledi Pandor) speaking clearly that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe and it needs the attention of the whole the region.
“You have also seen the ANC at a party level via their secretary for international relations (Lindiwe Zulu), speaking clearly that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe.
“You have seen the AU writing a memo that the Zimbabwean government must stop the abuse of its citizens. That they must respect the rule of law, they must not use Covid-19 as an excuse for them to oppress the civil liberties of our people.”
Sikhala said SADC was slowly warming up to reality in Zimbabwe and like the AU, will speak out condemning the atrocities happening.
“The world of today is no longer the world to pander to the whims of dictatorships where citizens are not able to speak out their mind,” he said.
“We have total and absolute faith that they will speak out, we believe that SADC and not only SADC but Africa shall speak against the excesses of the current regime.”
SADC has largely been viewed as a toothless bulldog, operating at the whims of liberation movements in the region and willing to turn a blind eye and deaf ear to members’ human rights abuses.