; SADC urged to help troubled member states – The Citizen

SADC urged to help troubled member states

FILE PICTURE: President Jacob Zuma and President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe pictured at the 34th SADC Ordinary in Victoria Falls. (Photo: GCIS)

FILE PICTURE: President Jacob Zuma and President of Zimbabwe Robert Mugabe pictured at the 34th SADC Ordinary in Victoria Falls. (Photo: GCIS)

A Zimbabwean civil society group and a Swaziland opposition political party called on the SADC on Wednesday to act on the challenges plaguing member states of the regional bloc.

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) said it was imperative for the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to formulate a clear framework of curbing human right abuses in member countries.

CiZC chairperson Dewa Mavhinga said the SADC ought to push for democratic reforms in Zimbabwe.

“Zimbabwe’s absolute failure to improve a human rights situation is characterised by unlawful farm invasions, police assaults and continued economic decline,” said Mavhinga during a media briefing in Braamfontein, Johannesburg.

President Robert Mugabe was elected chairperson of SADC at its summit held in Zimbabwe last month. Mavhinga described Mugabe’s election as a reluctance of the SADC to deal with the country’s political and economic challenges.

President of the Swaziland Youth Congress Bheki Dlamini said Swaziland’s ban on political parties deprived the citizens of their democratic rights. He accused the SADC of paying lip service to his country’s human rights, political and economic woes.

“The SADC only takes action when there is serious political crisis in member states, such as the Lesotho coup,” said Dlamini.

“We cannot have an influence in what is happening in our government because political parties have no say. The legislature and the judiciary are controlled by the monarchy. The unemployment is very high and this also becomes a problem for the SADC.”

 

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