26 September 2017

Southern Africa: SADC Urged to Intervene in Fresh Zimbabwe Crisis

Johannesburg — A ZIMBABWEAN opposition party has called for urgent dialogue involving the country's political parties to resolve the recurring economic challenges.

The Zimbabwe Communist Party (ZCP) headquartered in Johannesburg also called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC), especially those countries led by former liberation movements, to oversee the process as the Zimbabwean situation was likely to threaten regional stability. ZCP called for dialogue that will involve the ruling Zanu-PF party of President Robert Mugabe (93) all major opposition parties, trade unions, business, civil society organizations, technocrats and religious groupings. "We also call on the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, China and South Africa) countries to organize financial assistance in the event of a reasonable agreement being concluded," ZCP General Secretary, Ngqabutho Mabhena. "We need to act fast since waiting for a total collapse will drastically affect the poorest members of society further." The appeal comes as the country experiences its worst economic crisis in decades after panicking citizens horded goods amid speculation of imminent shortages. This is reminiscent of the predicament suffered in 2008 when the country's dollar currency ceased to exist. Earlier this week, Zimbabwe Home Affairs Minister, Ignatious Chombo, accused government critics and some media of spreading alarm and despondency by claiming there were shortages in the country. He hinted criminal charges could be slapped on purveyors of such reports. Mugabe's administration is accused of destroying a once-vibrant economy through corruption and partisan policies including a violent seizure of white-owned commercial farms since 2000. Government blames influential countries in the west for sabotaging Zimbabwe and effecting regime change.

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