Sadc and the AU should help solve Zimbabwe crisis-Obert Gutu (MDC T)

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Zimbabwe is now at the crossroads. Everything that can go wrong has since gone wrong. It is apparent that the Zanu PF regime is totally clueless regarding how to extricate the country from this debilitating economic mayhem and liquidity crunch. We are at the deep end. No amount of propaganda and spin can camouflage the excruciating and grinding poverty that is being experienced by the majority of the people on a daily basis. Something has got to give. It can no longer be business as usual. Zimbabwe is crying out for an urgent economic and financial rescue package. The Zanu PF regime’s main challenge is lack of political legitimacy. This is a renegade and rogue administration that is completely and utterly incapable of rescuing the situation in the country.

Time is of the essence. The future of Zimbabwe is firmly in our hands. None but ourselves can set us free. There is a total failure of government and the centre can clearly no longer hold. The MDC T would like to call upon all patriotic and peace –  loving Zimbabweans to join hands in finding lasting and effective solutions to extricate our beloved motherland from the prevailing political and socio – economic quagmire. The country urgently needs no less than $300 million to import food in order to avert starvation in the country. As a direct result of  the ruinous agricultural policies and violent so – called  land reform program undertaken by the beleaguered and faction –  ridden Zanu PF regime over the past 15 years,  the country has only managed to harvest a paltry 49% of its national  maize requirements. At least 7 million Zimbabweans are facing the grim prospect of starvation. Robert Mugabe and his rogue administration are bankrupt and they will not be able to harness adequate financial resources in order to import the maize that is now urgently required. The situation cannot be more desperate than what it is right now.

Instead of crafting policies targeted at rescuing the fast deteriorating political and economic situation, the Zanu PF regime is obsessed with internal fighting. The various antagonistic factions within the crumbling Zanu PF political formation are pre – occupied with decimating each other instead of concentrating on essential matters of governance. The country is on virtual auto – pilot as the nonagenarian Head of State continues with his endless, fruitless, purposeless and expensive foreign jamborees. It is high time that the renegade Zanu PF regime is called to order. The streets of the country’s major cities, towns and growth points are teeming with thousands of desperate vendors who are struggling to eke out a living day in and day out. There is virtually no meaningful domestic and foreign direct investment (FDI) that is flowing into Zimbabwe mainly because the Zanu PF regime has effectively lost control of the state apparatus. We are now a virtual banana republic where the right hand doesn’t know what the left hand is doing. There is no sequencing and co – ordination of government policies, laws and programs and as a result, the few foreign investors who are making enquiries about investment opportunities in Zimbabwe are getting confused and frustrated and naturally, they end up taking their money to more attractive investment destinations within the SADC region and beyond.

The MDC calls upon both SADC and the AU to put their focus on Zimbabwe once again. It would be folly for these two organisations to proceed as if there is no crippling crisis in Zimbabwe. Robert Mugabe and his rogue Zanu PF regime should be confronted and told, in no uncertain terms, that the deteriorating political and economic situation in Zimbabwe is now a serious threat to both regional and continental security and stability. The situation should not be allowed to deteriorate any further. In this respect, therefore, there is a crying need for SADC to call for an urgent summit to discuss the deteriorating political and economic situation in Zimbabwe. More than 100 days after State security agents abducted  journalist and human rights activist, Itai Dzamara, we have a regime that is not even bothered about providing security to its citizens as well as guaranteeing the safety of all its citizens ; regardless of political affiliation. Zimbabwe is now a regional and continental flash point.MDC T: Equal opportunities for all.
by Obert Chaurura Gutu, MDC T National Spokesperson

1400 S.African soldiers ‘held hostage’ in Sudan to secure Al-Bashir safe return

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The Sudanese government of president Omar al-Bashir literally held a gun to South Africa’s head to secure his safe return to Khartoum.

Netwerk24 revealed that about 1 400 South African soldiers in Darfur were held “hostage” by Sudanese troops when the drama around Al-Bashir’s possible arrest in South Africa escalated.

According to military experts, this effectively means Sudan blackmailed South Africa and the soldiers’ lives served as a guarantee for Al-Bashir’s safe return.

Only after Al-Bashir safely touched down in Khartoum on Monday, were Sudanese troops withdrawn. President Jacob Zuma is the commander-in-chief of the defence force.

‘So scared’

“We were so scared – we were surrounded by soldiers. We handed out extra ammunition to all our troops in case they needed it,” said one South African soldier in Sudan on Tuesday.

The deployment of Sudanese troops and threats against South Africa started shortly after Al-Bashir left for the African Union summit in Sandton, Johannesburg. He arrived on Saturday night. Heavily armed Sudanese soldiers surrounded military bases in Kutum, Mellit, and Malha. South African troops were placed in a state of combat readiness.

“Vehicles approached our bases and the commander placed us on Stage 2 of readiness,” said another soldier. This meant all troops had to be in combat gear, fully armed, and positioned in bunkers and against embankments.

Another soldier said if the situation got out of hand, “we would have had to surrender to save our lives, because you can’t fight a country’s army with a poorly equipped battalion”.

Source: Netwerk24

Zimbabwe’s Zanu PF government, appeals for US$300m to mitigate mass starvation

Zimbabwe’s food situation is on the brink of an outbreak of mass starvation  after the maize harvest generated from last year’s crop fell by at least 50%. This is partly attributed to poor rainfall pattern and mainly to the collapse of Zimbabwe’s once enviable  agricultural sector which fed the African continent but now has collapsed after the disastrous Zanu PF war veteran led, white commercial farm invasion of the early 2000 years.

Zimbabwe fell swiftly from a self sufficient nation in food supply down to a ‘bread basket case’ in need of food aid as the inactive farming sector failed to meet demands.

The crisis  in Zimbabwe is now critical as evidenced by the broke Mugabe’s  Zanu PF regime’s  appeal  to development partners for  US$300 million to mitigate starvation  across the nation due to the fall in  maize output or harvest by at least 50 % from the last cropping season.

Zmbabwe’s  Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa  launched the Zimbabwe Zero Hunger Strategic Review Report, where he stated that at least  US$300 million is needed for food import to make up for the shortfall and cushion Zimbabwe until the  next harvest, assuming that the next season will  be  result in a plentiful harvest.

Zimbabwe needs 1,4 million tonnes of maize a year for consumption, but the  2014-15 season output was just  49 percent of this, demonstrating how critical the pending starvation will turn out to be if bold steps to mitigate the starvation are not taken immediately.

President Robert Mugabe recently announced that no one will  starve in the country, a typically empty promise coming from the head of a broke Zanu PF regime, who amongst themselves hold more US$ billions than the government itself, all built up from corruption,  and  looting of national wealth and resources, through monopolising wealth and power.  It is not rocket science that Mugabe’s Zanu PF regime will not easily   find the money to cover grain imports.

Zimbabwe’s poor harvest  dictates that at least 50% of the required food must be imported from  neighbours, a typically controversial issue since  South Africa and Zambia, did not have massive outputs due to the poor rainfall and thus will seek to feed their own people before disposing of any excess stocks.

Zimbabwe’s government poor or low  government support to farmers , low harvests due to  climate change,   coupled with the  reluctance of Zimbabwe’s  banking sector to offer cheap loans to farmers  for their agricultural activity are all a smoke screen that the government can hide behind and avoid taking direct blame for their contribution to the whole fiasco right from the haphazard, murderous eviction of white commercial farmers, with no clear plan to move the nation forward progressively. Sibusiso Ngwenya.

Mugabe says Zuma assured the African Union of Al-Bashir’s safety from arrest.

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Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, a man traditionally known for his tough anti western stance, particularly the International Criminal Court (ICC), understandably because his hands are tainted with the same blood that makes people like  Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir ,  a most wanted individual to face justice before the ICC for war crimes and crimes against humanity, addressed a few issue raised by journalists with respect to the Sudanese president.

Robert Mugabe, admitted that President Al-Bashir is a wanted man by the ICC and that Civil society Non Governmental Organisations, (NGOs) had chosen to press the of law to enforce the warrant of arrest against Al-Bashir, but according to Robert Mugabe, South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma assured the African Union (AU) summit delegates,  that the Sudanese President would not be arrested.

 

“This is not the headquarters of the ICC and we do not want it in this region at all,” Mugabe said. President Al-Bashir , whilst on court orders not to leave South Africa before a court decision was made with respect to the ICC warrant, calmly left South Africa on board a flight departing from the Waterkloof Military Airbase and arrived safely back in Sudan to a rousing homecoming welcome from supporters in Sudan. Suffice it is to say, that the whole world was excited about the prospect of Al-Bashir’s arrest, but the African Union (AU) led by its Chairperson, Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe, kept its cool and continued as if nothing had happened, knowing very well that the Sudanese President was safe from arrest. Sibusiso Ngwenya.

photo-news24.Omar al-Bashir and Robert Mugabe

 

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