By Mthulisi Mathuthu
SW Radio Africa
1 July 2014
A month before President Mugabe assumes the chairmanship of SADC, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition has warned the regional body not to ignore Zimbabwe’s socio-economic and political problems.
Dewa Mavhinga, the chair of the coalition, said the collapse of service delivery and the continuing arbitrary arrests of civil rights activists and journalists all point to a leadership crisis in the country and SADC must demand reform now.
Briefing civil society, diplomats and Zimbabweans in the Diaspora last week Mavhinga said SADC could yet again be forced to deal with the imploding crisis in Zimbabwe if they choose to neglect the warning signs.
The coalition urged SADC to ‘demand clarity on Zimbabwe’s economic policy’, pinpointing the ambiguous stance on indigenisation and uncertainty over the ZimAsset economic blue print. A statement from the lobby group said: ‘Such clarity should be used as precondition for regional and international engagement on Zimbabwe.’
The coalition’s warning comes after ZANU PF recently said Mugabe will use Zimbabwe’s impending SADC chairmanship to promote his controversial policies, among them the indigenisation and ‘land reform’, both of them largely blamed for the country’s economic decline.
Speaking to SW Radio Africa’s Diaspora Diaries Mavhinga said: ‘Ahead of the August summit there will be a whirlwind regional tour by the coalition to highlight these challenges and to push for the implementation of the SADC’s own recommendations and other protocols that are not being given attention by Harare.’
Mavhinga said the coalition wants SADC to compel Harare to pursue reform, in line with both the SADC Principles and Guidelines on elections and the new Constitution.
These developments come at a time when the ZANU PF government is seen to be deliberately delaying implementing the new Constitution which was signed into law more than a year ago.