See also:
» 30.10.2009 - Malawi president receives 2009 Drivers of Change Award
» 26.10.2009 - SADC states highest ranked in prosperity index
» 19.10.2009 - SADC responds to Tsvangirai's call
» 16.10.2009 - SA teams up with neighbours for a clean environment
» 15.10.2009 - Zambia becomes agric support hub for Southern Africa
» 08.10.2009 - Environmentalists condemn Mozambique's planned damming of Zambezi
» 05.10.2009 - SADC leads Africa on governance barometer
» 21.09.2009 - SADC partnership could solve energy shortage by 2016

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Southern Africa | Zimbabwe
Politics | Society

Is the Zimbabwe crisis agenda a one-sided affair?

afrol News, 26 February - While Zimbabwe's opposition members of the unity government are running around seeking hand-outs to rescue the country out of the economic stress, on the other hand, the former ruling party members of the unity deal and their leader, Robert Mugabe are shamelessly busy making last minute land grabs and huskying about how much money should be spent on the President's birthday party booze and braai.

The situation in Zimbabwe is surely calling for more international attention, but in some instances, for unnecessary reasons. The world is actually now wondering if there is really a unity government in Zimbabwe, or something that could be equaled to unity in diversity from all sorts of meanings for the word 'negative diversity'.

While many would have wanted to blast the West for the delayed and watch and wait strategy on bailing out Zimbabwe, things seems to suggest that there is no other better strategy and no one, including SADC and the AU should be fooled into falling in to the Mugabe trap.

For instance, the expectation would have been to see and hear more about fights in the implementation policies on helping out fellow Zimbabweans out of the jaws of poverty by the new Harare administration, but instead, when one sector is seeking to address the humanitarian pains faced by the citizens, another is thinking of the next election victory and probably shifting attention from the real issues confronting the country.

If Zimbabwe was to go for an election in two or so years, who will want to fund such a cost when along the streets people are being torn apart by hunger and disease, when the children's future is hanging helplessly in the collapsed national scale and zeroes accumulate in their unpronounceable digits in the people's buying power? There surely needs to be someone, some body, some club, or some authority, somewhere, that should knock some sense back into the once great Zimbabwe.

The SADC finance ministers were today discussing the Zimbabwe bail-out issue in South Africa and the question would stay on the wall unchallenged for years to come, as to how many delegations' member states would actually go back home to seek broader mandates before a Zimbabwe stash is approved, or would it be just another brotherly help that would perpetuate insensitive carrying on with self interests above the needs of the poor citizens?

Zimbabwe surely needs the regional muscle and the world at large, to pull out of the current deep, but surely not when there is clearly no unity in government as was the resolution of the regional body together with other international bodies.

A United Nations inter-agency mission to Zimbabwe today stressed that the country’s humanitarian crisis remains grave, and urged both the government and the international community to support the strengthening of aid efforts.

The mission however has also stressed that the welfare of the people was largely the responsibility of the government of Zimbabwe. "We trust that the all-inclusive government will quickly take the necessary steps to address the fundamentals of governance that would allow stability and economic recovery," it stated.

The team, led by UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator Catherine Bragg, visited the southern African nation from 21 to 25 February to assess responses to, among other things, a food emergency in which up to seven million people need food aid and a cholera epidemic, which has infected some 83,000 people and already claimed more than 3,800 lives.

"Despite tremendous efforts by both the Government and the humanitarian community in Zimbabwe to contain the cholera epidemic, major challenges remain," Ms Bragg said in a news release issued at the end of the visit.

While noting the international community’s generosity to the people of Zimbabwe so far, the team highlighted the need for further resources in the coming months. This includes resources to effectively contain the country’s worst-ever cholera outbreak, including through public health outreach and repairing water and sewage systems.

Additional resources will also be crucial for food aid and to help improve food security. "We have to ensure farmers have all the agriculture inputs they need for the next planting season, which begins in September. If we do not act now, we could end up next year with a situation similar to what we have today," Ms Bragg said.

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