- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is dispatching more teams to look into and formulate help strategies in Zimbabwe's crisis, despite the country's pronounced suspicions on a Western-backed invasion. Two secrete meetings are underway.
The regional body has called for an emergency security meeting of the SADC Troika to be held in Maputo tomorrow, a source has revealed to afrol News. Though not disclosing the details of the Maputo agenda, Zimbabwe's new security concerns, as well as an alleged invasion plot, are believed to top the meeting's agenda.
The source further said another security meeting, at a technical and strategic level, was to be held in Botswana, though saying it was a rather sensitive issue to be discussed and not wanting to give more details. Zimbabwe was to be one of the issues.
Zimbabwe has pronounced its discomfort with the number of foreign missions, casting its suspicions on what it called a planned invasion by the Western powers.
The clarion call by Zimbabwe follows numerous calls by Western leaders as well as some regional member states pushing an open agenda aimed at deposing the 84 years old dictator, President Robert Mugabe.
The Harare administration spokesperson said yesterday that President Mugabe's government would not be surprised that the UK and US, together with the UN would lead such a military mission, but not saying how and if the country was preparing to respond.
He also said both UK and US were going to push the Zimbabwean agenda before the UN Security Council under the pretext of the cholera epidemic, saying such did not warrant an invasion on Zimbabwe's sovereignty.
Open charges by Western leaders and diplomats have also seen of late, increased UN pressure on Zimbabwe, while the regional neighbours have also been under increased pressure to lead initiatives in the Zimbabwe crisis or face the scorn of the Western powers.
To date, only Botswana and Kenya have come out clearly criticising President Mugabe, wanting him to step down. Meanwhile, the majority of the Africa Union (AU) still holds the view that the power-sharing deal is the only way out of the Zimbabwean crisis.
The country's leadership signed the power-sharing deal in September, but the processes leading to the formation of a unity government have stalled over allocation of cabinet positions, even necessitating a constitutional amendment.
While fast-tracking its presence and humanitarian impact in Zimbabwe, SADC has said in a press statement it was also expecting an emergency report back to its Troika meeting of health and water affairs ministers, tomorrow, in Johannesburg, South Africa, as the outbreak was now spreading and threatening Zimbabwe's neighbours.
Regional member states such as Botswana, Mozambique, South Africa, Malawi and Zambia are said to be already experiencing outbreaks stemming from Zimbabwe, though not yet at an alarming scale, while bordering neighbours, especially South Africa and Zambia are also concerned with the influx of Zimbabwean refugees running away from lack of services in their country.
SADC has stated that apart from helping out in the cholera crisis in Zimbabwe, the regional body was also looking at strategies to fast-track alleviation of the humanitarian situation in the country.
afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.
afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.