a.. "It is kindergarten stuff for SADC. If you call children to solve this,
they will come up with a better solution than these leaders. It is simple.
We want an answer from Motlanthe. We want him to condemn Mugabe. We would
have liked him to be more forthright. If the chairperson [of SADC] is not
willing to reign in someone, how can you call him a leader?" Wilfred Mhanda,
secretary of the Zimbabwe Liberation Veterans Forum, told The Times.
The forum, consisting of fighters who restarted the Zimbabwean independence
war in 1975, met in Pretoria at the weekend at Idasa.
Mhanda said South Africans will not be convinced of Motlanthe’s leadership
abilities if he cannot hold a SADC member to account.
Last week Motlanthe talked tough when he chaired an extraordinary SADC
summit in Sandton, but despite slating Mugabe and the MDC’s Morgan
Tsvangirai for political immaturity, they were no closer to forming a unity
Disagreement over the allocation of ministries, especially over control of
the important ministry of home affairs, has scuppered progress towards
forming a national unity government, as agreed in the September 15
power-sharing deal brokered by former president Thabo Mbeki.
[Both want the Home Affairs ministry because it controls Zimbabwe’s police
and intelligence services.]
"We as liberation fighters and senior commanders feel the ideals we fought
for have been betrayed by people like Robert Mugabe. We had hoped our
colleagues, who fought for liberation in South Africa, Namibia and
Mozambique, would hold Mugabe to account. But he is trying to wriggle out of
the [September 15 power sharing] agreement and the guarantors of that
agreement, SADC and the African union, just stand by with their arms
folded – cowed into submission by Mugabe. Why?" Mhanda wanted to know.
"There was a free and fair election on March 29, which the MDC won. And now
you find that spineless leaders are siding with the loser. What was the
struggle for? To support someone who is killing his people? It is a shame on
the whole of humanity."
Happyson Nenji, member of the forum, said that while the collapse of state
services in Zimbabwe is now virtually complete, SADC was negating its own
principals by not denouncing Mugabe’s intransigence. "SADC should enforce
the principals as they did after the June 27 one-man election. All it takes
is their voice. We are not asking for soldiers to be sent to Zimbabwe. It is
simple. SADC must condemn Mugabe first, like with the election and then seek
the solution. But why are they afraid of him? Where in the world have you
seen people share a ministry? You are asking the winner to surrender to the
loser," Nenji said.
Mhanda and Augustus Mudzwingwa warned South Africans that not holding heads
of state and SADC to account would invariably lead to the Zimbabwean crisis
repeating itself in neighbouring states in the future: "Zimbabwe does not
exist in a vacuum. South Africa and the rest of the reason are not immune to
the fall-out. You will be the next victims. In the end you will loose
everything if you do not act out of self interest and for the greater good,
in demanding respect for democratic principals. Once you abandon those
principals you become vulnerable too. You sacrifice your freedom," Mhanda
Mudzwingwa said: Our freedom was usurped. The behaviour of the leaders of
SADC surprises us. Do they not realise this may actually happen in South
Africa or Mozambique? People have to open their eyes. Demand that your
leaders learn from the Zimbabwean situation. You are being forewarned and
fore armed."Post published in: Uncategorized