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Zambia, S.A. Split Over Sinking Zimbabwe March 22, 2007

Posted by publicpolitics in Uncategorized.
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South Africa’s response to the Zimbabwe crisis has been tepid at best, despite expectations that Zimbabwe’s nearest and most powerful neighbor might be instrumental in bringing pressure to bear on the roundly condemned Mugabe government. Wyndham Hartley reports from Cape Town today that South Africa’s preference for “quiet diplomacy” continues, despite the complete lack of effect of that approach on the Zimbabwean policy:

in perhaps its strongest statement on Zimbabwe since the crisis escalated recently, chief government spokesman Themba Maseko said the beatings of Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leaders were “unacceptable” but indicated that there would be no change in government’s approach.

Source: allafrica.com

Meanwhile, Zambian President Mwanawasa, on a five day visit to Nambia acknowledges that the quiet diplomacy approach is not working. Zimbabwe is a member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), an organization devoted to trade and regional prosperity in Southern Africa. Mwanawasa believes the organizaton

had failed to make progress in talks with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. ..failed to help solve the political chaos and economic meltdown in Zimbabwe,” Mwanawasa said during a five-day state visit to Namibia.

Source: allafrica.com

Without mentioning Zimbabwe by name, Mwanawasa compared Zimbabwe to the doomed Titanic:

As I speak
right now, one SADC country has sunk into such economic difficulties
that it may be likened to a sinking Titanic whose passengers are
jumping off in a bid to save their lives.”

Source: allafrica.com

SADC is expected to issue formal statements on Zimbabwe within the next week, and in South Africa, the government’s hands-off approach has drawn criticism from nearly every major political party as well as from the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU).

Tags: unacceptable | strongest | statement | spokesman | Leaders | indicated | Government | escalated | Crisis | BEATINGS | Zimbabwe | Themba | Sa | Politics | movement | Maseko | holds | DEMOCRATIC

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