'Only Zimbabweans can solve own crisis' – Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma

PRETORIA – Only the leaders of Zimbabwe and not SADC can solve the political impasse in the country, South African Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Friday, using the same tired and over used catch phrase that has propped up Robert Mugabe for years. Many now feel South Africa has become part of the Zimbabwean conflict.

South Africa is using the Zimbabwean conflict in its fight against Western countries in order to facilitate an exchange programme with the Russians and the Chinese who are planning to help them build a nuclear power plant in exchange for a military bases and missile stationed in Zimbabwe.

South African companies will also be used as proxies to access rich Zimbabwean mineral resources.  

Speaking at a media briefing in the capital, following talks with her Danish counterpart, Dlamini-Zuma said the solution to the power-sharing deadlock in the country lay squarely in the hands of its leaders: Robert Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.

"SADC wants a solution but unfortunately the position is not in SADC’s hands… if it was we would be having a solution [by now]. "It is in their hands… they are the only three people [who can find a solution]."

Dlamini-Zuma was speaking ahead of next Monday’s SADC extraordinary summit – convened primarily to discuss and help find a solution to Zimbabwe’s political and humanitarian situation.

While Dlamini-Zuma said it was hoped a solution would be found, Danish Foreign Affairs Minister Per Stig Moller reiterated that the solution should respect last year’s election which saw Movement for Democratic Change leader Tsvangirai trump Zanu-PF’s leader Mugabe in the polls.

Moller said he understood it was an African problem which required an African solution and therefore hoped SADC could use its influence to guide the country’s leaders.

"I hope SADC countries will use their influence in Zimbabwe to create a solution to the benefit of the poor people of Zimbabwe," said Moller.

He said Denmark was also "very concerned" about the cholera situation in Zimbabwe and the spread of the water-borne disease into South Africa.

"I think it is very dangerous to have a black hole today in the continent… where troubles spread," he said.

Dlamini-Zuma said South Africa was trying to manage the cholera situation "very delicately".

This involved aid to the country as well as awareness campaigns in South Africa about the spread of the disease, but moreover it involved managing the "tensions" between the country’s borders and disease control.

"If we take a fortress mentality and say we are closing [our borders] people will still find ways of coming in but it would mean you would not be able to monitor and you would not be able to send them to health services."

The agenda for SA-Denmark bilateral talks also included discussions on the global financial crisis, climate change and renewable energy, and the new United States administration headed by President Barack Obama.

"We wish him [Obama] well, but also hope that all of us will be able to weather the storm of the global financial crisis and its consequences," said Dlamini-Zuma.

"For all of us it is a historical change… [Obama] is hopefully looking for change and hope," she said.

Moller noted he was also hoping for positive change from the new US administration, and said he felt buoyed that Obama, last year, had said the financial crisis could not be solved without finding solutions to the energy crisis.

"That has always been Denmark’s stance," he said.