Fidelis Munyoro Chief Reporter
Sadc Heads of States’ resolution to collectively express their disapproval of unrelenting illegal sanctions against Zimbabwe has been welcomed as a symbol of a return to the core values of pan-Africanism by member states.
Tanzania’s President John Magufuli, the new Sadc chairman, rallied his troops to unite and stand with Zimbabwe against the imperialist machinations.
This resulted in the regional bloc declaring October 25 as the solidarity anti-sanctions day.
President Magufuli took over chairmanship of Sadc at the just-ended summit in Tanzania.
Analysts who spoke to The Herald yesterday described the Sadc action as a “heavy-duty” statement on the need for regional integration.
“This is an acclamation that Africa is restoring the traditional fraternal sympathies to member states injured by imperial hegemony,” said Mr Richard Mahomva, the founding executive director at Leaders for Africa Network.
“This act of solidarity for this imperative cause further symbolises a much needed turn to the pragmatic collective agenda setting of regional integration.”
University of Zimbabwe chairman in the Department of Political and Administrative Studies Dr Donald Chimanikire said a united front is all what the region needed to defend regional sovereignty.
“It shows that Sadc is now serious about the need for meaningful and deeper regional integration which is long overdue,” he said. “It also shows that no sustainable economic growth and development will ever take place without pulling together as a region.”
Political scientist Mr Mike Mhlanga said the move was a positive indicator with regards to Zimbabwe’s new diplomatic strategy of re-engagement and how it was getting a buy-in even from the SADC diplomacy level.
“The day punctuates commitment and the zeal for collectivity in SADC, something which has been amiss,” he said. “Again, it reflects the new dispensation’s lobbying efforts and how they are yielding positive results which could be a good indicator even on its other initiatives.
“Lastly, it is a reflection of the Sadc’s commitment to regional integration and the spirit of solving regional challenges at a bloc level.”
The tough-talking President Magufuli said Zimbabwe had taken a new trajectory, but the sanctions continued to hurt the country and people in other member states.
Many African countries, among them South Africa, Namibia and Kenya, have previously called for the removal of the sanctions.
The US and its allies imposed the economic embargo, asset freezing and travel bans on Zimbabwe at the height of the land reform programme in early 2000.