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Resolving the economic challenges facing Zimbabwe should be an SADC-supported process


Rebone Tau is a political commentator and author of The Rise and Fall of the ANCYL. She is a Research Fellow at the Institute for Pan-African Thought & Conversation (IPATC) at the University of Johannesburg. She writes in her personal capacity.

The regional bloc needs to step up and call an urgent meeting to discuss the economic crisis, which has also led to the recent violence resulting in the death of several citizens. The loan needed by Zimbabwe must come with conditions, which include the much-needed inclusive and honest dialogue driven by Zimbabweans.

While we know that the Global Political Party Agreement (GPA) was not fully implemented, in order for Zimbabwe to be politically and economically stable, they need to make sure that it’s fully effected. Both South Africa and Botswana are mainly affected by the economic challenges facing Zimbabwe due to the large influx of Zimbabweans to these countries to seek better lives.

SADC has neglected to remember the unfinished mediation process which South Africa was mandated to facilitate, leading to the GPA process. It cannot treat Zimbabwe as if it were the first time the country was in a crisis. Furthermore, it is disappointing that they have not issued a statement to condemn the recent violence that took place. The people of Zimbabwe deserve better from this region to contribute to the betterment of their livelihood.

While one agrees that sanctions must be lifted, that too needs to come with conditions that the Zimbabwean government must adhere to and this process should be led by SADC once they have met and agreed on a way forward. The people of Zimbabwe must not be left to suffer forever.

SADC must now take a pro-active stance on Zimbabwe. One wonders, whose interests are the leaders serving? People cannot be killed, and nothing is said on the lives that were lost. There is a need for SADC to drive an honest discussion on Zimbabwe. It must rise to the occasion and stop avoiding issues that are affecting the people of the region directly. The Zimbabwean people cannot continue to suffer in the manner that they are suffering; we also need people to people solidarity in the region and not focus on ourselves only. We need to stand together and help Zimbabweans during this difficult period.

People to people solidarity is very important. As South Africans, we know what we endured during the apartheid era and how the citizens of our neighbouring countries helped us through that difficult time. We did not achieve liberation by ourselves, A stable region is required which will grow economically and through this, more jobs will be created and those who are already in business will be able to grow their business. We are in the fourth industrial revolution; things need to be done differently by our governments if we are to compete with the rest of the world. In South Africa, we are enjoying our freedom with institutions that are strong and we need to help Zimbabwe achieve the same. DM


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