5 February 2019

Southern Africa: SADC, AU Updated About Zimbabwe Crisis

Photo: The Namibian
President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa pictured with President Hage Geingob (file photo).

Harare — The Zimbabwean government has briefed the African Union (AU) and Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states about the prevailing atmosphere in the country following economic and political problems.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa has dispatched special envoys to brief SADC and AU chairpersons about the crises.

He blamed internal interference by external forces whom he accused of fomenting lawlessness in order to effect regime change.

George Charamba, the presidential spokesman, said Mnangagwa had contacted various heads of state and government from the region and continent.

Among those are SADC chairman, Hage Geingob, of Namibia and AU counterpart, Paul Kagame.

Other SADC Heads of state briefed were South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, Botswana's Mokgweetsi Masisi, Zambia's Edgar Lungu, Angola's João Lourenço, Mozambique's Filipe Nyusi and Malawi's Peter Mutharika.

Zimbabwe's problems mounted last month after government increased the price of fuel by 150 percent.

Some 12 people, including police officer, died while hordes others were injured.

More than 1 000 people have been arrested for property destruction and looting.

Recently, South Africa's main opposition, Democratic Alliance (DA), wrote a letter to Mnangagwa expressing displeasure at human rights violations.

Its leader, Mmusi Maimane, is keen to meet Mnagagwa and the opposition over the crises.

"The stability of Zimbabwe is critical to the stability of our region," Maimane said.

Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association backed the government's brutal response to the protests.

"We are appalled that non-governmental organisations and some Western countries are now making a lot of noise, but they have not bothered to make any mention of the police officer who was killed by the terrorists," war veterans secretary-general, Victor Matemadanda, said.

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