Home » Governance » U.S, Not Zimbabwe, Threatening SADC Stability [opinion]

Looking at the latest excuses lamely proffered by the United States for extending its illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe, one cannot help, but notice that the whole sanctions imposition and renewal exercise is merely a perfunctory charade, truly divorced from what is happening in Zimbabwe and the Southern African region at large.

Surely how can one unashamedly claim that the reason why the US is retaining sanctions on Zimbabwe is that the Government of Zimbabwe has “contributed to deliberate breakdown of political and economic stability in the Southern African region”?

More confounding is that the US concluded that “the actions and policies of these persons continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States.”

For a start, which political and economic instability in southern Africa is the US talking about?

The Southern Africa cited in the US’ sanctions proclamation is patently dissimilar to the one we live in, the Southern African Development Community.

Our SADC is politically and economically stable compared to other regions in Africa and the rest of the world, which are regrettably enveloped in unending ethnic, religious and other volatile conflicts.

It is therefore noticeably untruthful for the US to insolently state that Zimbabwe has contributed to the imagined political and economic malaise in SADC.

Contrary to US assertions, since its independence in 1980, Zimbabwe has in fact played a pivotal role in safeguarding peace and stability in Southern Africa.

A simple glimpse at the history of the region would inescapably reveal that Zimbabwe is at the nerve centre of promoting cohesion in SADC.

Who can dispute Zimbabwe’s active role in assisting Mozambicans in the 1990s to neutralise the threat of insurgency from the murderous RENAMO dissidents, bringing the much needed peace in that country?

Even South Africans would attest that Zimbabwe provided essential rear support to their freedom fighters during their long drawn fight against the racist apartheid regime.

Some ANC leaders, including President Jacob Zuma, spent part of their time in exile in Zimbabwe.

Besides assisting its regional compatriots to attain independence, Zimbabwe also demonstrated that it is a non-intrusive, co-operative and peace-loving neighbour to all SADC members.

Sitting side by side with Zambia, Zimbabwe has since independence peacefully co-existed with its northern neighbour despite sharing several resources, both natural and man-made.

Nature has paired the two countries to share several resources among them the mighty Zambezi River, the Victoria Falls and the Kariba Hydropower Station.

The peaceful co-existence of the two SADC neighbours was resoundingly demonstrated when they successfully co-hosted the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) General Assembly in 2013.

Despite inter-border resources being a source of explosive conflicts in other regions in Africa and the rest of the world, on its part, Zimbabwe has managed to fairly and peacefully share both natural and artificial inter-border resources with its neighbours.

Already Zimbabwe and Zambia are at an aanced stage of implementing joint plans to expand power generation at Kariba and also establish another power generation plant at the Batoka Gorge along the Zambezi River.

Notably, Zimbabwe’s peace promotion efforts have also gone beyond regional frontiers. Under the aegis of the United Nations, the country successfully deployed its peacekeeping troops to other regions of Africa in countries such as Somalia and Liberia.

Zimbabwe’s security forces also forestalled a potential coup in Equatorial Guinea by arresting the Simon Mann-led coup plotters at Harare International Airport on their way to the oil producing nation.

Presently President Mugabe is the SADC chairperson.

Under his stewardship, the regional bloc was successful in resolving a political crisis in Lesotho leading to peaceful elections that ushered in a new leadership. Also under the tutelage of President Mugabe, SADC presided over peaceful and democratic elections in Mozambique and Zambia.

On the economic front, Zimbabwe is a committed member of the Common Market for East and Southern Africa (COMESA), the organisation responsible for promoting regional trade.

Because of its peace and stability, Zimbabwe is providing a safe and reliable transport corridor to all COMESA members, linking markets in the southern African region to those in East Africa. The country also provides a huge and viable market for goods from other regional countries, particularly South Africa.

From the above submissions, it is clear that contrary to US claims, Zimbabwe is actually playing a crucial role in not only safeguarding peace in SADC but also promoting the economic interests of the region.

What remains unanswered is why the US would therefore openly denote such progressive contributions by Zimbabwe to the well-being of SADC as pausing “an unusual and extraordinary threat to the foreign policy of the United States”.

Is the US confessing that the peace and stability in SADC is not serving its foreign policy? This cannot be far from the truth since we all know that the US foreign policy thrives on war, chaos and instability hence it is wreaking havoc in many parts of the world.

As a result several regions in the world have been plunged into eternal conflicts that calculatedly avail hegemonic opportunities to the imperial interests of the US.

Actually, a simple glimpse into US’ footwork in SADC would reveal that it is subtly trying to create animosity between Zimbabwe and its neighbours.

The US has been trying hard to push South Africa to take a more belligerent stance against Zimbabwe.

This became more glaring during the incumbency of president Thabo Mbeki when he was relentlessly pestered to abandon what was termed his “quiet diplomacy” towards Zimbabwe.

The US want South Africa to take a more “non-quiet”, intrusive and Big Brother role against Zimbabwe, which would obviously breach the inalienable principle of sovereignty of nations thus breeding hostility between the two African neighbours.

The US is also behind the establishment of pirate radio stations in Botswana that are beaming hate messages into Zimbabwe.

This has resulted in a relatively acrimonious relationship between Botswana and Zimbabwe with the former morphing into an outpost of US interests and reportedly planning to host America’s Africom military base.

Under the circumstances, anyone would agree with me that the US is the one that is actually being quarrelsome towards Zimbabwe and in the process is threatening the political and economic stability of SADC.

No one can dispute that Zimbabwe would make better political and economic contributions to SADC if the US was to urgently remove its devious sanctions regime and bring an immediate stop to its unrelenting vilification of the southern African nation.

Mindful of the above, it is clear that US’ sanctions on Zimbabwe are not only wrongfully informed, but are designed to cause regional instability in order to justify the imperial interest of the US.

Source : The Herald