Popular Democratic Movement (PDM) president McHenry Venaani has hit back at the ruling party’s decision to vote down a parliamentary motion tabled by his party on the current “crisis” in Zimbabwe, even before the motion was motivated.
“To us, it is a greatest act of cowardice and in a gross disregard of the plight of the people of Zimbabwe. While I do respect and abide to the majoritarian rule tenet that applies to constitutional democracies such as ours, we also do not condone majoritarian rule that defies logic,” Venaani said.
The PDM leader hints that instability in Zimbabwe will inescapably spill over to the whole SADC region and that the country’s democracy is under threat.
“This insinuates that whether SWAPO decides to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe or not, the crisis will still persist,” he said.
According to Venaani, there is a deliberate attack on democratic processes and institutions by those who do not want to lose power in Zimbabwe.
“This attack is established through a long network of patron-client relations, enabled through those who have access to political power over government, those who run the cohesive apparatus and coupled with a deep network of clients on the grassroots loyal to ZANU-PF,” he said.
The South African government has recently condemned the state-sponsored violence in Zimbabwe and warned that the human rights abuses currently taking place in Zimbabwe will have negative repercussions on South Africa.
“The Namibian government remains mum and indecisive on the issue. One may even get the impression that the Zimbabwean government is holding a gun to the Namibian government’s head, or that the Namibian government is inherently reliant on Zimbabwe for something,” Venaani said.
He also added that, “the Namibian government’s stance on Zimbabwe is weak and untenable and undermines democratic values in the whole SADC region. We cannot have a government that tolerates injustices, either here in Namibia, or elsewhere in SADC or Africa.”
According to him, “Regional diplomacy going forward should be principled and focus on issues of mutual cooperation and existence, including non-negotiable democratic tenets of freedom of speech, freedom to political affiliation and the right to live without harassment and intimidation by the state.”
The PDM leader called on the Namibian government to “develop comprehensive and decisive stance on Zimbabwe and for SADC to intervene and encourage dialogue between the government and opposition parties in Zimbabwe.
“These talks must be driven by a desire to achieve mutual co-existence of all political players in Zimbabwe and urge all parties to respect democratic institutions and processes,” Venaani said.
This effort comes after the Namibian government through the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation (MIRCO) issued its stance on the situation in Zimbabwe.
“Within SADC we have mechanisms in place established to deal with issues affecting members states in between Summits, such as regional integration, economic development, and peace and security among others,” said Acting Executive Director of MIRCO, Rebecca Iyambo.