From as far back as May, several individuals and organisations from Zimbabwe, the region and beyond have been pushing the baseless and politically-mischievous narrative that Zimbabwe is mired in a crisis.
Some of them, like the self-exiled Zimbabwean former Cabinet minister, Professor Jonathan Moyo and the former leader of the South African opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), Mmusi Maimane, have not hidden their ultimate aim — to have President Mnangagwa dragged before the International Criminal Court (ICC) and to have Zimbabwe placed on the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) agenda.
All these machinations are calculated to weaken ZANU PF, eventually unseat it from State power and replace it with the West-approved and pliable opposition, which would enable countries such as the US to have unfettered access to Zimbabwe’s abundant resources.
Despite all manner of strategies and tactics, which include a two decade regime of illegal, evil and debilitating sanctions against Zimbabwe, the West and its local running dogs have realised that no country is an island.
The painful realisation that they could not succeed by targeting Zimbabwe in isolation of the community of regional countries such as South Africa, has seen them changing tact.
This is why American Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Brain Nichols told eNCA news in an interview on September 4 that the US wanted the SADC to play a more assertive role on Zimbabwe’s challenges.
When the South African ruling party, the ANC dispatched a five-member delegation to meet ZANU PF early this month, Nichols was listed together with the MDC Alliance among people and organisations who the delegation failed to meet.
This indicates the US’ desperation to exploit the cordial and neighbourly relations that exist between South Africa and Zimbabwe for its own ulterior ends. Nichols and South Africans like Maimane thought that they could easily arm-twist and blackmail South African President Cyril Ramaphosa to abuse his position as the incumbent African Union (AU) Chairman to put Zimbabwe on the continental bloc’s agenda as an initial step to push it to the UNSC.
The motley crew was to realise that South Africa is not just Zimbabwe’s neighbour. It is Zimbabwe’s African neighbour. They realised to their disappointment that not all South Africans are Mmusi Maimanes. Never has South Africa’s position on Zimbabwe been clearer than when it’s Minister of International Relations, Naledi Pandor answered a question on Zimbabwe during a Wits University Webinar, last week.
She agreed with President Mnangagwa and ZANU PF that Zimbabwe is not facing a “crisis”, but challenges.
She said that “it is clear that that great country (Zimbabwe) is not where it should be at the present”. This is not because of a “crisis” in the minds of Prof Moyo, Maimane and Nichols. The country is in this unenvious position because of Nichols’ masters back in the US who hijacked a bilateral matter between Zimbabwe and the United Kingdom to punish the small southern African country for embarking on the game changing land reform programme.
It is gratifying to note that, in spite of the pressure from the likes of Maimane and Nichols, President Ramaphosa, Minister Pandor and the South African government chose to be African neighbours to Zimbabwe. They know that an African does not accompany his neighbour’s enemy to destroy him and his family.
An African looks out for his neighbour and does all he can to assist when in need.
President Ramaphosa did not just talk about neighbourliness, but demonstrated it when he took the case of the illegal sanctions to the UN General Assembly this week where he appealed for the immediate removal of the punitive measures. Similar sentiments were made by the Presidents of Kenya, Namibia and Tanzania.
President Mnangagwa duly acknowledged the gestures and expressed how the sanctions were “a breach of international law” and compromised “Zimbabwe’s capacity to implement and achieve sustainable development. An African neighbour knows that his neighbour’s current predicament can be visited upon him by the same evil enemy tomorrow.
An African respects his neighbour. Unlike the pushy Nichols, Maimane and the local opposition, the South African government respects Zimbabwe. Minister Pandor did not push Zimbabwe to agree to her government’s assistance.
She knows that Zimbabwe is a sovereign country. This is why she said, “we are comrades, neighbours (and) friends. We stand ready to play a role and once they (Zimbabwean Government) agree, ‘South Africa come on, we need to work together,’ that moment South Africa will be ready.”
During the webinar, Minister Pandor exposed the merchants of the fake Zimbabwean “crisis”, their cheerleaders and owners. She pulled off the veil of duplicity and double standards, which covers the enemy of Zimbabwe’s case of a “crisis” in the country.
It should embarrass local proponents of the campaign that they had to be told by a South African minister that their own country is not in a crisis as if they are Martian visitors to the country.
“I’m fascinated by the interest of South Africans (who) always want to pull us to Zimbabwe. It is an important issue, but it is not the sole issue.
“Why don’t we talk about Lesotho and what President Ramaphosa has achieved there? And how important it is to maintain peace in Lesotho.
Why don’t we talk about achieving democracy in eSwatini?” she told the webinar attendees.
The proponents of the non-existent “crisis” in Zimbabwe campaign should be ashamed that while Zimbabwe holds national elections when they are due in line with its Constitution, eSwatini’s King Mswati III chooses his prime minister and government — and a bride every year too. While President Mnangagwa slugged it out with 22 presidential election candidates during the July 30, 2018, harmonised elections, in eSwatini there is no meaningful opposition or democracy to talk about because that country is under an absolute monarchy with constitutional provisions and traditional law and custom.
If Western countries such as the US and their local hatchet men were sincere about championing democracy and the respect for human rights in Africa, their guns would be trained more on eSwatini than at Zimbabwe. This is because that country has a more pressing case of democratic “crisis” than Zimbabwe.
What is good for the goose should also be good for the gander. Going forward, the owners of the fake “crisis” should be shamed and exposed for their insincerity, the way Minister Pandor did.