Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
SOUTH Africa yesterday said Sadc should engage Western countries to lift sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe to ensure the recovery of the country’s economy.
Delivering her keynote address at a symposium hosted by South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Co-operation at the University of South Africa in Pretoria, under the theme: “Best path to prosperous Zimbabwe,” the neighbouring country’s International Relations and Co-operation Minister Dr Naledi Pandor said while Sadc’s resolution to stand in solidarity with Zimbabwe against sanctions was noble as was done on October 25, the region needs to do more if Zimbabwe’s economy is to rebound.
“Sadc may need to go beyond the resolution adopted [in August] and engage those who have imposed sanctions to agree on lifting sanctions to support the recovery of sectors such as health, agriculture and education,” she said.
Dr Pandor said sustainable solutions for Zimbabwe’s problems will come from Zimbabweans themselves not foreigners.
“This symposium, we regard it as our modest contribution to [the] beginning of a process of finding solutions to the many complex challenges which we believe will be resolved primarily by the people of Zimbabwe with the assistance of all the countries in Sadc region,” she said.
“There is no sense of arrogance that as South Africa we have the solution. The real, sustainable solutions will come from the people of Zimbabwe and we should not fool ourselves [to think] we have the solution. We would like to be a party to assisting and finding a way of resolving the problems as they confront our brotherly and sisterly country.”
Dr Pandor said there is serious political discord in Zimbabwe that needs to be addressed for the country to achieve its goals.
She said while the region plays its part to lobby for an end to illegal punitive sanctions on the country, political actors should also take corrective steps for the benefit of the country’s citizens.
“It seems clear that even as we support the call for an end to economic sanctions, the political dynamics are inextricably linked to the economy and thus should be confronted simultaneously. This can only be led from Zimbabwe and would certainly ease the development of Sadc contributions in response to the emergent compact,” Dr Pandor said.
Already, President Mnangagwa has initiated the Political Actors Dialogue (POLAD) to encourage discourse between various political parties in the country.
POLAD has been embraced by various political parties that participated in the 2018 harmonised elections but the Mr Nelson Chamisa led MDC-Alliance opposition party has refused to be part of the dialogue. – @nqotshili.