A political analyst says that Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries will bear the consequences of their failure to confront the challenges Zimbabwe is currently, mainly caused by the government’s aversion to the rule of law.
Renowned constitutional law expert, Alex Magaisa says that as the situation in Zimbabwe becomes a huge humanitarian crisis, there will be a huge influx of Zimbabweans to the country’s neighbours, especially South Africa and Botswana. He writes:
Tsvangirai once told Zuma at a bilateral, “President, Zimbabwe is not a foreign policy issue for you. It’s a domestic issue.” He meant challenges in Zimbabwe directly impacted South Africa. Therefore, South Africa could not afford to play a blind eye.
SA could not afford to ignore what was happening in Zimbabwe or to pretend that all was well. Morgan Tsvangirai cited the influx of immigrants and the consequent pressure upon SA’s social services.
It was important to stop mollycoddling the regime. I don’t think the message was understood.
The same point applies to Botswana and other countries in the region [for Botswana President, Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi], Zimbabwe is more than a foreign policy issue.
The SADC statement was completely out of sync with the situation in Zimbabwe. There’s no new Chapter contrary to their pontifications.
The political and economic crisis is fast turning into a humanitarian crisis, with many needing food aid, no jobs, power shortages, State violence and brutality, closure of spaces, human rights violations. Human instinct is fight or flight – many are fleeing to the neighbours.
As long as they mollycoddle the regime and pretend it’s the victim and not the perpetrator, people will move to seek refuge.
If people’s rights are not respected, they will vote with their feet. The history of humankind is a history of migration from zones of want to safe zones.