By Dr Masimba Mavaza
The rumour monger machine has again started to spin into overdrive against Zimbabwe. There has been a talk of intervention by South Africa in Zimbabwe. This rumour is spread and calculated to make people believe that there is a crisis in Zimbabwe. We have clearly proved that there is no crisis in Zimbabwe.
The arrest of Mr Hopewell Chin’ono and Job Sikhala is not peculiar to Zimbabwe. We saw in Australia tens of people arrested for inciting, this included the arrest of a heavily pregnant lady and an old man for inciting a demonstration against the COVID-19 restriction laws. Surprisingly, there was no backlash from the self-ordained human rights activists.
On September 4 2020 a reporter by the name Peter Fabricius posted an article which was headed We meet Chamisa or no donations, South Africa tells Mnangagwa. In this article the writer alleged that Zimbabwe wants PPEs from South Africa and are relying on South Africa to clean its image in the world platform. It alleged further that Zimbabwe needs South African support to secure international loans to tide it over the presumed Zimbabwean economic crisis.
The article continues to state that South Africa is withholding the support pending the agreement by Zimbabwe to allow the South African representatives to come and meet Chamisa. The narrative of these losers is to portray Zimbabwe as a country in despair and in need of help.
The issues which have escaped the mind of such detractors are that whatever the situation Zimbabwe is in, no country has a right to come and intervene in Zimbabwe’s affairs. Intervention is only done with agreement and approval of the United Nations. South Africa is struggling with COVID- 19. South Africa’s number of the dead going by the ratio, is higher than that of Zimbabwe by far. It has failed to supply and avail PPE’s to their own people.
Zimbabwe is a sovereign state and it cannot be dictated to by South Africa. South Africa has no right nor even little power to poke its nose in Zimbabwe. Any involvement in Zimbabwe’s affairs is by the strict invitation by the Zimbabwean government. The coming to Zimbabwe by anyone from South Africa is at the pleasure of Zimbabwe’s government. The presumed crisis in Zimbabwe is entirely a smoke screen, a mirage which will fade into nothingness once you get nearer. By inviting South Africa into Zimbabwe, we simply want to stretch our hands and show that as a nation we have nothing to hide. Detractors have deliberately misinformed people into believing that Zimbabwe is in a crisis and needs South Africa .
It can be said for the record Zimbabwe does not need South Africa and Chamisa is not a game changer.
There is a wishful thinking in the small heads of the opposition members that Chamisa controls the direction of Zimbabwean politics. Chamisa is riding on a very high horse and he needs to disembark from the high horse and come to the level of reality. Chamisa wishes to fit in where he has no posture,
It is in a Humanitarian situation that a neighbouring country may intervene. Humanitarian intervention has been defined as a state’s use of military force against another state, with publicly stating its goal is to end human rights violations in that state. This definition may be too narrow as it precludes non-military forms of intervention such as humanitarian aid and international sanctions. On this broader understanding, “Humanitarian intervention should be understood to encompass… non-forcible methods, namely intervention undertaken without military force to alleviate mass human suffering within sovereign borders.”
There is not one standard or legal definition of humanitarian intervention; the field of analysis (such as law, ethics or politics) often influences the definition that is chosen. Differences in definition include variations in whether humanitarian intervention is limited to instances where there is an absence of consent from the host state; whether humanitarian intervention is limited to punishment actions; and whether humanitarian intervention is limited to cases where there has been explicit UN Security Council authorization for action. There is, however, a general consensus on some of its essential characteristics: Humanitarian intervention involves the threat and use of military forces as a central feature. It is an intervention in the sense that it entails interfering in the internal affairs of a state by sending military forces into the territory or airspace of a sovereign state that has not committed an act of aggression against another state. The intervention is in response to situations that do not necessarily pose direct threats to states’ strategic interests, but instead is motivated by humanitarian objectives.
Looking into all these issues Zimbabwe is not yet into any of these situations, again it will never reach that situation. The crisis in a country is not defined by the opposition. Neither is it defined on social media. intervention is as ancient and well-established an instrument of foreign policy as are diplomatic pressure, negotiations and war. From the time of the ancient Greeks to this day, some states have found it advantageous to intervene in the affairs of other states on behalf of their own interests and against the latter’s’ will. Other states, in view of their interests, have opposed such interventions and have intervened on behalf of theirs.
The United Nations Charter and the Charter of the Organization of American States forbid only intervention by states. … No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or in- directly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing would apply to activities by foreign nationals and equally to activities by one’s own nationals so long as these activities were “private” and there was no official participation by the state claiming neutrality. It would appear that the foregoing brief description derived from international law relating to neutrality would be the most severe test possible in a situation where war had not broken out. That is, it would seem that the obligations of the state to prevent revolutionary activities aimed at the government of a foreign state from taking place within its borders could not be more than its obligations as a neutral in the event hostilities had taken place. Indeed, these obligations may be considerably less since the state involved is not claiming a formally neutral status and since the primary purpose of international law relating to neutrality is to prevent the spread of hostilities.
The starting point is the Charter of the UN Article 1 very importantly sets out its purpose:
1.1 To maintain international peace and security, and to that end: to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means.Nothing contained in the present Charter shall authorize the United Nations to intervene in matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of any state or shall require the Members to submit such matters to settlement under the present Charter; but this principle shall not prejudice the application of enforcement measures under Chapter Vll.
So in a clear situation intervention is judged in international relations.
In international relations, intervention is defined as using force to interfere in another nation’s affairs in a way that affects that nation’s control over its territory or population. Intervention can take on many forms, depending on the conflict or issue that’s occurring.
While military force is the most well-known and historically used form of intervention, there are several different ways that forcible intervention is used.
The most well-known and historical form of intervention is military intervention, the use of armed forces to resolve a conflict occurring in another nation. Throughout history, militaries were frequently used to assist a nation in protecting or expanding its territories or sovereignty.
Since the Cold War, economic sanctions have become the most commonly used form of intervention. Economic sanctions are actions taken against a nation with the goal of harming that nation’s economy. Trade restrictions, cutting off all trade and commerce with a country (called embargoes), Prohibiting investments by companies in a nation’s economy can also be an effective type of sanction. Reductions in foreign aid can also put pressure on a nation. Foreign aid (often in the form of a grant or low interest loan) can strengthen a country’s military, improve its infrastructure and industries, or reduce poverty. Political intervention occurs when a nation uses pressure, money, or technology to influence the political structure of another nation. This can be in the form of backing one political party over another, launching a campaign in favour of or against one party, or tampering with another nation’s political elections, called electoral intervention, which is the most widely used form of political intervention. This is the interventions applied on Zimbabwe by America. Now they are trying to persuade South Africa to take a side against Zimbabwe.
The Friendly Relations Declaration (UN General Assembly, 1970), included under the principle of non-intervention the following paragraph: No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. Consequently, armed intervention and all other forms of interference or attempted threats against the personality of the State or against its political, economic and cultural elements, are in violation of international law. So, any intervention is illegal and South Africa will not be dragged into the fiction created by the MDC. The more common term for the legal principle is “non-intervention”, though “non-interference” is also used. In many contexts the two terms seem to be interchangeable, but “non-interference” suggests a wider prohibition, particularly when used in addition to intervention. Yet “the interference must be forcible or dictatorial, or otherwise coercive, in effect depriving the state intervened against of control over the matter in question. Interference pure and simple is not intervention” SO IN Zimbabwe’s situation the South Africans are invited they are not imposing a visit. The principle of non-intervention is the mirror image of the sovereignty of States. The prohibition of intervention “is a corollary of every state’s right to sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence”. to the international legal limits on a State’s jurisdiction to prescribe and to enforce. The sub-title “Non-interference in a state’s internal affairs used to be a rule of international law: is it still?” was intended to be rhetorical. There is no doubt that the principle of non-intervention remains well-established in contemporary international law. It is part of customary international law, as the International Court of Justice has reaffirmed on a number of occasions. And it is also reflected in many treaties, such as the Charter of the Organization of American States and the Constitutive Act of the African Union. While not expressly set out in the UN Charter, it is generally held to be implicit in various of its provisions, the principle of the sovereign equality of States (Article 2.1). It was of course included in the 1970 Friendly Relations Declaration.
So, the fabricated stories about Chamisa dictating the pace of political stability in Zimbabwe is mischievous and nonsense. The whole country cannot be held at ransom by an imaginary party. Zimbabwe is friendly to all our neighbours and none is more important than the other.