While the Southern African Development Community supports the call for an end to economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, the political dynamics in the country are inextricably linked to the economic and thus should be confronted simultaneously, South Africa’s Minister of International Relations Naledi Pandor said yesterday
Addressing a symposium on the best path towards a prosperous Zimbabwe held at the University of South Africa, Pandor said this initiative can only be led by Zimbabweans.
“The social and economic situation confronting Zimbabwe is one of the most challenging facing the southern African region, she said.
“We are hosting this symposium as a modest contribution to beginning a process of finding solutions to the many complex challenges which will be resolved primarily by the people of Zimbabwe with the assistance of all countries in the region.
“The theme of this meeting indicates our belief that we will have to find ways of acting in solidarity with Zimbabwe, it reflects our posture that multilateral solidarity and practical informed action are the best means toward resolving international problems.”
Zimbabwe has been facing an economic slide since its elections in July last year which were won by the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front which walked away with a two-thirds majority in Parliament.
The main opposition Movement for Democratic Change, however, rejected the presidential election result claiming that its leader Nelson Chamisa, and not ZANU-PF leader Emmerson Mnangagwa, won the presidential vote but was rigged out by the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.
The MDC lost the case at the Constitutional Court but insists Mnangagwa is illegitimate.
Pandor said: “By all accounts there are serious and seemingly intractable political factors that might need attention if solutions are to be effective or implementable. The political formations in Zimbabwe remain at loggerheads and have apparent deep antipathy toward each other which makes joint decision making and planning extremely difficult.
“It seems clear that even as we support the call for an end to economic sanctions, the political dynamics are inextricably linked to the economic and thus should be confronted simultaneously. This can only be led from Zimbabwe and would certainly ease the development of SADC contributions in response to the emergent compact.”