The Sunday News
Richard Runyararo Mahomva
The Sadc resolution to call for the removal of the illegal colonial sanctions against Zimbabwe affirms the region’s confidence in the Second-Republic’s renewed re-angling of our nation’s political-economy affairs. The Sadc has reasserted the long fad essence of the decolonisation project, the anti-sanctions stand reclaims the perpetual desire for economic democratisation. The sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the imperialist West are a blunt reminder of the sustained haemorrhaging impact of colonialism to Africa’s liberation agenda. This is why the anti-sanctions fights have seized to be a Zimbabwean affair.
Instead, it has since assumed a more region gravitas. In all this, it stands to be noted that Africa has arrived at that conclusion that the sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe have always been aimed at downplaying the gains of the land reform programme as a strategic mechanism to downplay colonial monopoly capital. The illegal Anglo-American sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe depict an undying imperialist culture to subjugate Africa’s liberation to the whims of neo-colonialism. This explains the solidarities of the people of Africa in defence of Zimbabwe in the face of imperialist arbitration. The West’s deaf reciprocation to Africa’s call for the removal of the illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe depicts an open disparage to the will of the people of Zimbabwe and the Sadc region at large.
The electoral endorsement of the President Emmerson Mnangagwa in 2018 was symbolic of the dignity which the Second-Republic carries under the ruling Zanu-PF. The conferment of this esteemed mandate to serve at the mercy of the people has inspired the ultimate decision reached by the entire Sadc community to have President Mnangagwa as the Chair of the region’s Organ for Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation. The merited appointment of President Mnangagwa as the Chair of this strategic portfolio comes against a backdrop multi-faceted neo-colonial expedience mechanisms cladded in the detraction efforts of the opposition MDC-Alliance. Recently, social media was awash with the Zimbabwean Lives Matter hashtag, prior inter-political party violence has been solely blamed on Zanu-PF. One can discern how this has served as a deliberate approach to undermine Zimbabwe’s credibility in bursting the impact of neo-colonial hegemony.
The decision by the entire continent to endorse the November transition is symbolic of the enduring pan-African position to defend the perpetuity of the liberation legacy. The shared continental emotion to secure Zimbabwe’s liberation legacy was further affirmed by the Sadc and entire African Union Election Observer Mission (AUEOM) in 2018. This was a broad gesture by the continent to usher Zimbabwe into the Second-Republic utilising a democratic process.
Therefore, the anti-sanctions campaign substantiates the extent to which the rest of Southern-Africa has been following closely the key political and security-related developments in Zimbabwe. This further exposes the pitfalls of the local criticism to the Mnangagwa administration. President Mnangagwa’s current regional elevation to chair politics and security issues at Sadc level crystallises the selective amnesia of the anti-establishment cohorts bent on polarising Zimbabwe in a bid to disfigure the success of the re-engagement overdrive. This is a clear benchmark of a high diplomatic score of Zimbabwe under the able leadership of His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe, Cde Emmerson D Mnangagwa. His regional role commands the importation of our domestic reform policy to the whole of Sadc.
The 25 October Anti-Sanctions Movement
In a communiqué of the 39th Sadc Summit, the region has declared 25 October as a solidarity day to push for the removal of sanctions against Zimbabwe. This pledge further consolidates the fraternal economic sympathies which Sadc countries share. The Sadc Secretariat has further lobbied for the anti-sanctions positions to be tabled for discussion during the 74 United Nations General Assembly held in September. This unprecedented move by Sadc sets a new tone for repositioning African issues in the global political arena, but most importantly this serves as a major diplomatic score for Zimbabwe. The anti-sanctions position registers the extent to which our fellow neighbouring states are fully cognisant of the unbearable living conditions which the sanctions have inflicted on the ordinary Zimbabwean.
It is in my considered view now that Sadc has spoken, the long-enduring cry of the people of Zimbabwe and Africa as a whole will be heard throughout the world. Therefore, this is our time for Zimbabwe to take its position as a think-tank to the new economic liberation narrative. This is the time for us to draw more inspiration from our time immemorial struggle to defend the liberation legacy and the people’s voice of reason towards the unification of Africa.
In his seminal public lecture in South-Africa, Prof Artwell Nhemachena succinctly attacks the jugular vein of coloniality by stating that:
“African voices have spoken and cried but the world has not been humanistic and moral enough to listen. Today, Africans are speaking yet the world is busy pushing for post-humanist agendas — for agendas beyond African Ubuntu-inspired humanism — designed to take away the African essence of being human. Because Africa has spoken before, we perhaps need to think in terms of Africans speaking again.”
The Sadc resolution emphasises this fundamental ideological lobby of African States in safeguarding the humanist agenda of the long-isolated interests of the continent. In so doing, the Sadc is re-living its founding pan-African regional unitary tenets. Of note, the imperative underscoring influences for the formation of Sadc are informed by the joint experience of liberation struggles, the fall of apartheid and the shared distress about the economic marginalisation of Southern Africa. Beyond the pan-Africanist ideological currency of this regional bloc, the genealogy of Sadc is linked to the existence of two former regional organisations, namely the Frontline States (FLS) and later the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (Sadcc). These two institutions respectively constitute the conception of Sadc’s political and security cooperation wing, and the socio-economic cohesion wing. These two arms of regional integration were co-founded within the context of the broader African decolonisation project. The post-independence experience continues to probe Sadc to execute a mission which enhances governance from a more Afro-centred inclination.
The Future beyond 25 October
There is a valid need to aggressively pursue the collectively call for the immediate and unconditional removal of illegal sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by the West and to device countermeasures against similar potential threats on member-states. Member-states to take all necessary steps and measures including, but not limited to legislative and administrative frameworks to underpin the fight against sanctions in their various forms and manifestations. Sadc must deepen co-operation anchored on an outright fight against neo-imperialism through economic development centred diplomacy in Southern-Africa in a bid to secure the continuity of the decolonisation agenda and guarantee the longevity of the region’s central political interests.
There must be strengthened effort in harmonising African countries’ economic policy frameworks as an enabling mechanism to take full advantage of the newly formed African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCTA). This calls upon Sadc states to drive the sub-region economic integration to make member-states an optimal destination for capital, to allow mobility of labour and the unimpeded cross-border trade of goods and services.
We have a mandate to continue pressing for the total liberation of the Global-South. It is a role to be taken by none but ourselves.