Tuesday, 23 August 2016
Kofi Annan Elders pressure SADC to help Zimbabwe "transition" - ALL reforms will be implemented this time. By P Guramatunhu
Group of Elders has appealed to SADC leaders ahead of the regional meeting next week to once again intervene in Zimbabwe. SADC played a major role in the formation of Zimbabwe’s 2008 to 2013 GNU. Sadly not even one democratic reform was implement during the GNU in spite SADC’s repeated warning to do so. The failure allowed President Mugabe to blatantly rig the 2013 elections and SADC had no choice but to accept the result and wash its hands of Zimbabwe.
Since the rigged 2013 elections Zimbabwe’s economy has gone into total meltdown; President Mugabe rigged the elections but could not rig economic recovery. The economic meltdown has now reached dangerous level with unemployment now at 90%; looting has now reaching nauseating height of $15 billion by looted by one or two individuals in six years; government is failing to pay its workers let alone pay for anything else; etc.
Zimbabwe’s economic meltdown is unsustainable and yet, without meaningful political reform, it is set to get worse. The country is staring down the abyss and if it is left to fall, it will drag the whole region with it.
Political reform is the one thing the country was supposed to achieve during the GNU but failed to do. Having bamboozled Tsvangirai and his MDC friends to kick reforms into the tall grass during the GNU President Mugabe now feels he has the right to resist any political reforms; which is why the Group of Elders is right to call on SADC leaders to pressure Mugabe to accept meaningful political reform.
“A group of former pre-eminent persons including former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan and wife of the late Nelson Mandela Graca Machel known as the Elders has called on the leaders of the Southern African Development Community to consider supporting a smooth transition in Zimbabwe,” reported Spotlight Zimbabwe.
“It is not clear what prompted the Elders to make the appeal but they said they firmly believed that a successful transition was not only vital for Zimbabwe but for the region as a whole.”
As a Zimbabwean who has followed the goings on in the country I have to put my hands up and admit that SADC leaders did their best, notably President Ian Khama of Botswana, to help Zimbabwe end the Zanu PF dictatorship throughout the 2008 to 2013 GNU. It was Tsvangirai, his fellow MDC leaders and the people of Zimbabwe themselves’ fault that not even one democratic reform was implemented in five years.
However I would like to assure SADC heads of State and the international community that a few, but the finest and brightest, Zimbabweans have learnt the lessons of the blundering incompetence during the last GNU. Give the country another chance and this time ALL the democratic reforms will be implemented fully and timeously. Just give Zimbabwe another chance, please!