Zimbabwe fears food disruptions, higher prices after SA riots; pins hopes on ANC fixing chaos soon
Zimbabwe says the ANC has the capacity to deal with SA’s current turmoil and that for now there’s no need for Sadc intervention.
Speaking to journalists in Harare on Wednesday night after Zanu-PF’s politburo meeting, party spokesperson and former ambassador to SA Simon Khaya Moyo said: “It was pleasing to note to a larger extent that the situation in SA is still within the capacity of our fraternal friends, the ANC and its government, to resolve and hopefully quell the chaos which has been reported on various media platforms.
“We are confident that our colleagues in SA will overcome this challenge.”
Addressing the politburo meeting, President Emmerson Mnangagwa said: “In the case of SA, we wish the current challenges facing our brothers and sisters in that country be soon resolved.”
In a statement on Wednesday, AU Commission chair Moussa Faki Mahamat condemned “in the strongest terms” the unrest in SA and called for the “urgent restoration of order, peace and stability in the country in full respect of the rule of law”.
SA is Zimbabwe’s biggest trade partner in the region, with Zimbabwe depending more on SA for food and other goods and services. There are fears that if the disturbances persist, they could trigger food and other basic commodity shortages in Zimbabwe.
Stevenson Dhlamini, an economist from the National University of Science and Technology, warned that ripple effects will be felt in Zimbabwe in the next few weeks.
“Most of our food, smuggled and imported legally comes from SA. Zimbabweans back home depend on remittances from family and friends working in SA. With the looting and vandalism forcing many people out of work many back home will fail to afford basics. The Durban trade route has been interrupted, imports coming from abroad will be in short supply.
“What’s likely to happen is to see SA products found in Zimbabwe being more expensive because retailers will factor in the shortage and risk factors involved,” he said.
Immigration officials at the Beitbridge border say they are yet to experience any interruptions.