Regional peace and stability is key for economic growth

A woman walks past a wall with graffiti advocating for the empowerment of people in the streets of Harare, in this Tuesday, June, 9, 2020 photo. Unable to protest on the streets, some in Zimbabwe are calling themselves "keyboard warriors" as they take to graffiti and social media to pressure a government that promised reform but is now accused of gross human rights abuses.(AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Whilst the whole world and the continent is engulfed by the Coronavirus pandemic there’s something brewing in our Southern African Development Community. There’s a low-intensity war taking place in our neighbours Zimbabwe where the government have launched a brutal attack against its citizens. In Mozambique Cabo Delgado Province there’s also a full-scale war taking place in the oil & gas region waged by the Islamic State rebels. The war has now taken place for more than three years without any SADC member state raising a hand.

These two incident need the full attention of both the SADC region and AU to confront it and deal with these threats decisively. President Ramaphosa, as our current Chairperson of the African Union, should ensure that these issues take centre stage in the agenda of these organisations. The war that the Zimbabwean government is waging against its citizen has a devastating effect on South Africa and the region as the whole.

Millions of Zimbabwean are now staying in South African in pursuit of the better life in an effort to run away from the hardship and economic meltdown that is affecting that country. The new dawn as promised by President Mnangagwa when he took over power after a military coup that dispose of Robert Mugabe has been replaced by the militarisation of the state. Journalist are under attack, including the banning of all peaceful demonstrations against poverty and corruption which the regime called are activities fuelled by the West and the dark forces that want to unseat the Democratic government.

The African Union has declared the year 2020 as the year of silencing the guns in the continent. The awful events that are taking place in both Zimbabwe and Mozambique should be a concern to all peace-loving citizen of our continent. President Ramaphosa must mobilise the regional peacekeeping force to descend in Mozambique before the war turns out to a full-scale civil war reminiscent of the war that Renamo waged for years against the people of Mozambique. We can’t wait any further as the region thinking that the war only affects the people of Mozambique.

The Africa Continental Free Trade Area agreement that the 54 member state of the continent has signed will be the pipe dream if the continent can’t achieve peace and political stability. We need all the African leaders to stand up and confront all forms of violence perpetrated by either governments or rebels against their citizens. These SADC and AU summits must now start to deal with all issues that affect the continent head-on instead of these summits turning to be expensive talk shows with no tangible achievements.

It’s time for the continent to take its rightful place in the world. However, it’s must begin by confronting all the social and economic ills that have besieged the continent of Africa. Our leaders must stop pampering each other under the disguise of not interfering in domestic affairs and respecting the sovereignty of each member state. SADC and AU the jury is out in ensuring that you deal with political instability and violence that is unfolding in Mozambique and Zimbabwe.