'Worried' Swapo says Zimbabwe can self-correct

17 September 2020 | International

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



Swapo says it is 'worried' about the deteriorating human rights situation in Zimbabwe, punctuated by an increasing crackdown on protests and arrests of journalists, saying the situation could spill over into neighbouring countries such as Namibia.

However, Swapo spokesperson Hilma Nicanor says there is hope in the ruling party that Zimbabwe will return to normalcy and once again become a beacon in Africa. She was approached for comment following a visit to Zimbabwe by a delegation of South Africa's ruling party ANC, led by its secretary-general Ace Magashule. The visit was prompted by a crackdown after more than 60 people were arrested in a protest against President Emmerson Mnangagwa, according to Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR). The protests are said to have begun peacefully, with demonstrators rallying to decry corruption and human rights abuses in the country, but the government cracked down swiftly. To denounce the arrests, activists started using #ZimbabweanLivesMatter on social media.

Reflecting on the recent visit by the ANC, Nicanor said Swapo maintained brotherliness with the ANC and other liberation movements in southern Africa and was closely observing the situation in Zimbabwe.





“We are worried and are looking forward to them finding a solution. It is incumbent upon them to find solutions. We would love for the situation to be put under control. We are all following and monitoring the situation on the ground,” said Nicanor.

Nicanor pointed out that what was happening in neighbouring countries affected Namibia as well.

“What affects our neighbouring countries affects all of us as well,” she said.



Khama weighs in



In an exclusive interview with Namibian Sun recently, former Botswana president Ian Khama described the Southern African Development Community's (SADC) tolerance of the human rights violations in Zimbabwe as “shameful”.

Khama was the only regional head of state who called the late Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe to order while other SADC leaders believed in “quiet diplomacy” when it came to Zimbabwean issues for the past two decades.

Recently Khama participated in the #ZimbabweanLivesmatter movement and met Zimbabweans in his country to get an understanding of their deteriorating plight

“SADC's silence perpetuates this kind of suffering when rigged elections are passed off as credible elections. SADC, as usual, is disappointing, it is frustrating,” he said.



ANC piles pressure on Mnangagwa



The ANC delegation was in Harare for talks amid reports of human rights violations in South Africa's northern neighbour.

Zanu-PF said the ANC had been made to believe that there was a crisis in Zimbabwe.

ANC national executive committee member Lindiwe Zulu, who was part of the delegation, said that the crisis in Zimbabwe was a case of national importance which warranted the use of state resources.

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