Foreign Affairs minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi has commended Zimbabweans for their resilience in the face of a gnawing economic meltdown.
By Our Staff
Mumbengegwi, who took over as chairman of the Sadc Council of Ministers from Malawi’s George Thapula Chaponda, said the resilience shown by Zimbabweans had even shocked some of the country’s detractors, especially Western countries which imposed sanctions on the Zanu PF government with the aim of triggering civil unrest.
He made the remarks while addressing journalists after a Sadc Council of Ministers meeting which was held on Friday night in Victoria Falls ahead of the 34th Sadc Heads of State Summit which also takes places in the resort town this weekend.
“Zimbabwe has experiences unfortunately, but the resilience of Zimbabwean people has become legendary. Yes, legendary!” Mumbengegwi said.
“All our detractors cannot understand how people who go through such economic difficulties fail to create chaos and instability. The resilience is unmatched and unparalleled.”
Mumbengegwi said there was an intricate nexus between economic development and political stability, and the country’s detractors were well aware of that reality. He said the imposition of sanctions was meant to destroy the country’s economy and cause political upheavals.
The country is currently experiencing a serious economic meltdown which analysts say is a result of bad economic policies by the Zanu PF government.
The government is also struggling to pay its workers. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC-T party has been calling for mass action against Zanu PF over the deteriorating economic situation, but Mugabe has threatened to crush the demonstrations and deal harshly with the organisers.
Mumbengegwi however yesterday admitted the economy could be a security threat, saying peace and economic stability were relative.
“It is not by accident that those who want to achieve regime change imposed sanctions on those they wanted to impose a government on. If you want to cause political and social instability, undermine the economy. It will however not always work. Zimbabwe is a living example. You all know the results of the July 2013 elections. All detractors anointed to cause regime change were decimated. The people spoke emphatically. They refused to remove their government due to economic challenges,” Mumbengegwi said.
Zanu PF has always accused the West of financing Tsvangirai’s MDC-T to topple Mugabe. Zanu PF on the other hand has always claimed its victory in the July 2013 harmonised elections was a victory against Europe and America.
Mumbengegwi said Sadc was working towards the eradication of poverty by coming up with a regional strategic development plan.
He said the implementation matrix model would enable countries in the region to benefit more from their resources, hence the summit theme — Leveraging the region’s diverse resources, for sustainable economic and social development through beneficiation and value addition.