Sadc fed up with President Robert
Mugabe
PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe’s decision to cling
onto power despite his advanced age and his
country’s waning fortunes has stretched his Sadc
counterparts’ patience to the limit, analysts have
said.
Mugabe was last week was left seething in anger
after Botswana leader, Ian Khama described him
as a liability to the region and urged him to step
down.
According to The Namibian newspaper, President
Hage Geingob has expressed similar sentiments.
Responding to a question on Namibian policy on
Zimbabwe last week during a speech at Columbia
University in the United States, Geingob said
Zimbabweans, who are unhappy with Mugabe
should fight for themselves. He, however, said
the international community would not fold its
hands, as the Zanu PF leader brutalises citizens.
“Because we don’t go out in public and shout, so
that you can be happy and dance in the streets of
New York? We have an African way of doing
things. I cannot say things to please somebody
else, and say I condemn Mugabe.
“We are sovereign countries,” he said, arguing
Khama’s public rebuke of the veteran leader was
the Botswana leader’s own way of doing things.
While arguing the Zimbabwean problem was a
domestic issue, Geingob warned the world would
not sit and watch while citizens’ rights are
violated.
“We must know that killing our people is not the
way to go. If you do that, you can’t expect the
world to respect you. They will intervene and tell
you that you are doing a wrong thing.
“We must get rid of the days where we believed in
strong presidents, personality cults, and that
some are (demi)-gods,” he said.
Political analyst, Pedzisai Ruhanya said there
were now indications of exasperation with
Mugabe by regional leaders.
“There seems to have been secret diplomatic
manoeuvres to talk Mugabe into retirement.
However, he seems to have rebuffed the advice,
hence, the public show of impatience. Especially
for Namibia, it’s a real break with tradition
because it has never been known to make any
comments on Mugabe’s leadership or anything
remotely connected to it,” he said.
“The Zimbabwean authorities and Mugabe must
understand that they cannot change the course
of nature that Mugabe’s physical and mental
mortality cannot sustainably lead Zimbabwe and
maintain the country’s socio-economic and
political interests.”
Mugabe is accused of rights abuses that have
earned him targeted sanctions from both the US
and European Union, with the latter having
relaxed the measures slightly.
Pretoria University lecturer and political
commentator, Ricky Mukonza said Mugabe had
lost the respect of his younger peers in the
region.
“Recent comments coming from Botswana and
lately Namibia suggest that some of the Sadc
leaders are coming out of their shells to say the
right things concerning Mugabe’s continued stay
in power. These countries have every right to
make such pronouncements because, since the
turn of the century, they have borne the brunt
of Zimbabwe’s socioe-conomic crisis,” he said.
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