Thursday 16 November 2017


As events in Zimbabwe continue to unfold, with the situation remaining calm as people across different sectors of life go about their business normally, we should commend the Zimbabwe Defence Forces for sticking to the statement that they issued on November 15, that their action was not a military takeover, but that they intended “to address the human security threats in (the) country”. They assured the nation that President Mugabe, together with his family were “safe and sound, and their security guaranteed”.

ZDF spokesperson Major-General Sibusiso Busi Moyo, who read out the statement on the public broadcaster, said the military was “only targeting criminals around him (President Mugabe), who are committing crimes that are causing social and economic suffering in the country in order to bring them to justice”.

The ZDF also assured the nation that as soon as they accomplish their mission, they expected the situation to return to normalcy. As the nation awaits the peaceful conclusion of the matter, we would also like to point out that it is quite normal for members of the international community to interpret events of November 15 in the best way they see them because Zimbabwe has hogged the limelight for decades.

However, we feel that some of the remarks we have been reading go against the spirit of peace that prevails in Zimbabwe. The ongoing normalcy cannot be ignored, because worldwide, when the military intervenes in civilian affairs, there is bloodshed, humanitarian crisis and they take over the levers of power – the Executive, Parliament, the Judiciary and the Fourth Estate. This is not what happened in Zimbabwe.

The ZDF also assured members of the international community, including regional and continental bodies – Sadc and the African Union – that their action was “not a military take-over of Government”. They explained that what they were doing was “to pacify a degenerating political, social and economic situation in our country, which if not addressed may result in violent conflict”.

As the unfolding events continue to make headline news the world over, Sadc is now ceased with the responsibility of ensuring that the normalcy currently obtaining is maintained and that the impasse is resolved amicably.

Some in the international community have adopted a wait-and-see attitude, while others are encouraging major stakeholders to continue on the path of peace, which is very encouraging. AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement on Wednesday that they were closely monitoring developments, adding: “I urge all stakeholders to address the current situation in accordance with the Constitution of Zimbabwe and the relevant instruments of the African Union, including the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.”

China, one of Zimbabwe’s major allies, said through its Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang, that they were also closely following developments in Zimbabwe. According to Xinhua news agency, Geng said “maintaining peace, stability and development in Zimbabwe conforms to the fundamental interests of Zimbabwe and its neighbouring regions, and is also the common aspiration of the international community”.
We also noted sentiments attributed to the United Nations Secretary-General, Britain, the European Union and the United States of America and wish to say that Zimbabwe’s situation is not unique in Africa.

In fact, the ZDF has a long history of peacekeeping in Africa and beyond. And, they have performed those duties with distinction. We do not see them suddenly changing tact, when their major objective was to rescue the country’s revered revolution from being hijacked. They therefore deserve to be commended for the manner they have handled their intervention. It is therefore uncalled for some of our global partners to make statements that are not in sync with what obtains on the ground.

Some of the remarks attributed to certain members of the international community calling for calm etc are uncalled for. There is calm. The coming days call for people who put on their thinking caps, people also guided by wisdom, for when all is said and done, the responsibility falls on Zimbabweans to resolve their differences in an amicable way, and so far we have demonstrated just that. Herald Editorial


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