EXILED former cabinet minister Jonathan Moyo says the African Union (AU), SADC and South Africa have no moral authority to mediate in Zimbabwe’s worsening political and economic crises as they are part of the problem, having endorsed the country’s November 2017 military coup that deposed long-serving ruler Robert Mugabe.
The AU, SADC, and South Africa have issued statements raising concerns over the abuse of human rights, which have seen ordinary citizens, politicians, lawyers, and journalists being arrested, assaulted, killed or abducted by suspected security agents.
South Africa’s ruling ANC has also added its voice against the ongoing repression in Zimbabwe and said there was need to assist its sister party in Zimbabwe, Zanu PF.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa early this month dispatched special envoys on a fact-finding mission to Harare to understand the nature of challenges faced by the neighbour. They met President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the envoys are expected back in Zimbabwe some time later.
The Zimbabwe government has, however, responded with anger to the call for mediation in Zimbabwe insisting there was no crisis in the country that could warrant external intervention.
However, Moyo said the intervention processes by the AU, SADC and South Africa were pointless as the three were also part of the mounting problems that Zimbabwe faced.
“The fact that South Africa, SADC, and the AU embraced the November 2017 military coup in Zimbabwe, means that they are part of the problem and are thus interested parties who cannot broker, as neutrals, the demilitarisation of the state and the restoration of constitutionalism in the country,” he said.
Moyo was speaking during a Zoom discussion organised by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition. Its theme was: “Zimbabwe prospects; transition, imperatives and stability”.
“The fact that Zimbabwe is a de facto military state whose critical implication has been the de-facto suspension of the Constitution; there is no national person or entity that can mediate the restoration of constitutionalism and demilitarisation of the state in Zimbabwe.”
Moyo said any meaningful mediation process aimed at resolving Zimbabwe’s crisis was only possible if it was facilitated by the United Nations.
“The only mediation or facilitation of the resolution of the crisis in Zimbabwe that has a real possibility of sustainable success would be under the United Nations which has the capacity and international experience to facilitate the restoration of constitutionalism and superintended over the demilitarisation of state institutions and agencies,” said Moyo.
The November 2017 military coup saw the removal of now late President Robert Mugabe who was replaced by Mnangagwa. However, the change has not brought about the expected economic growth and key reforms in the country. Things have gone from bad to worse, instead.
Moyo, who was a close Mugabe ally, was forced to flee to Kenya during the coup after the military stormed his Harare home. He claims the army wanted to kill him. He has been in exile since then and the government is making frantic efforts to have him extradited to Zimbabwe ostensibly to answer to fraud charges during his era as a cabinet minister.
He denies the fraud charges.