WINDHOEK - Namibian President, Hage Geingob, who is also the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Chairperson, has called on his counterparts in Zimbabwe and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to update the Africa Union (AU) on the political developments in their countries.
Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa is reportedly being defied by members of his ruling party Zanu-PF, who are orchestrating a violent crackdown after demonstrations last month, government and military officials said. It has been reported that door-to-door raids in urban townships by police and men in military uniform continued more than a week after a three-day strike that was called after fuel prices more than doubled ended. Abuses ranged from beatings to rape, according to human rights organisations, including the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition.
Media reports in Zimbabwe say the barbaric violence by the security forces of 1 August 2018 and the two episodes starting 14 January 2019 were meant to cow the people into subservient silence.
It was also reported that the ruling Zanu-PF is silencing people protesting the allegedly rigged elections, the worsening economic situation due to decades of gross mismanagement and rampant corruption by the regime.
Meanwhile, at least 890 people are believed to have been killed in ethnic violence in northwestern DRC in December, the United Nations human rights office said last month.
The toll doubles an estimate provided in January by a local priest and a civil society activist who said at least 400 people had been killed in bloodshed, which led the government to cancel voting there in last month’s presidential election.
Due to the political violence in these two Sadc member states, Geingob who addressed Sadc Heads of State and Government during the AU meeting over the weekend in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, said he saw it fit for these two presidents to give an update on the political situations in their countries.
“At this juncture, I would like to invite His Excellency Felix Tshisekedi, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo to update the meeting on some of the recent developments in the DRC, and in particular on how Sadc, as a region, can continue providing support to the consolidation of democracy in the DRC. Thereafter, I will request His Excellency Emmerson Mnangagwa to update our meeting on the political and socio-economic situation in Zimbabwe,” Geingob said.
Furthermore, regarding the political situation in the region, Geingob noted that he had consulted with Sadc Heads of State and Government on the consolidation of political processes.
Hence, he saw it necessary to take advantage of the ongoing AU meetings to provide Sadc Heads of State and Government an opportunity to engage on the matter, and receive first-hand briefings from some of the member states.
He expressed confidence that this would allow them to have a common understanding on issues of collective interest, and facilitate a common approach, as they continue to provide support to the region.
In addition, Geingob said at the 38th Session of the Summit of the Sadc Heads of State and Government in Windhoek, Namibia, member states had decided to convene an international conference in solidarity with the people of Western Sahara.
Therefore, he extended appreciation to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, who has agreed to host this conference which is now slated for 25 to 26 March 2019, in Pretoria, South Africa.
“During our consultations, I will ask the ministers of international relations and cooperation of Namibia and South Africa, being chair and host respectively, to brief us on the status of preparations for this conference,” Geingob said.
2019-02-11 09:35:37 5 months ago