Saturday, September 29, 2007

EU meeting boycott not solution to Zimbabwe crisis - Mususu

EU meeting boycott not solution to Zimbabwe crisis - Mususu
By Nomusa Michelo
Saturday September 29, 2007 [04:00]

EVANGELICAL Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ) executive director Bishop Paul Mususu has said the decision by SADC leaders to boycott the EU summit will not help solve the problems facing the people of Zimbabwe. In an interview, Bishop Mususu said it was unfortunate that SADC had decided to boycott the EU/AU summit for the reasons they have given because, it would only protect Zimbabwean President Mugabe at the expense of the majority of Zimbabweans.

"I don't think it is the right decision to boycott on that score when they are not responding to Mugabe and his situation in Zimbabwe.

The boycott is short-lived in that SADC should be prevailing on (President) Mugabe, they should help (President) Mugabe. They should do something before sanctions are imposed on (President) Mugabe from outside," Bishop Mususu said.

"What happened at the past SADC (Heads of State Summit) is a shame and disastrous. They should have risen to the occasion and spoken not with kids gloves.
“They should have been a bit more emphatic and told him that the situation in Zimbabwe is as bad as described."

And Bishop Mususu said SADC should use its leverage to help the common people in Zimbabwe instead of ignoring the problems in Zimbabwe.

"That leverage they are taking up is not in favour of the common man or the common woman in Zimbabwe. Why don't they say we are going to boycott because (President) Mugabe has been allowed off the hook and is mistreating his people? That will be a better thing to do. And it is high time our leaders begun to do things on behalf of the people that they govern or the people that are electing them in authority," he said.

"And not when they climb up, they forget and they create a club for the top guys, the Presidents, that is not what SADC is supposed to be. SADC is supposed to be servicing the common person on the ground."

He said President Mwanawasa and other SADC leaders failed to deal 'head on' with President Mugabe during the summit held in Lusaka last month.

"What would have stopped President Mwanawasa from inviting someone from Zimbabwe to come and say things about what is happening in Zimbabwe in front of their President," he asked. "It simply says that they are protecting their fellow leader at the expense of the common person in Zimbabwe."

And Bishop Mususu said it is a paradox that President Mwanawasa would announce that SADC would boycott the summit, as it justified the Oasis Forum’s decision to boycott the National Constitutional Conference (NCC).

"It is a paradox. I think it's great that President Mwanawasa would say that. Isn't that justifying our suggestion as well when we talk about boycotting the NCC?" Bishop Mususu asked.

"When we suggested that we are boycotting because of the way the arrangement is, they called us names. They were not happy with us and said a boycott is not the way to go, so why is he talking about boycotting himself? So justification is there for a boycott if you are not satisfied."

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