Former Mozambican President Joachim Chissano has urged Zimbabwe’s leaders to act in good faith and govern wisely to avoid plunging the country back into conflict that would damage the economy and hinder development.
In a lecture to an audience of students in Gweru, Midlands province, on the theme of conflict resolution in Southern Africa, said internal strife in the country can only have a negative impact on ordinary people and regional neighbors.
Mr. Chissano said it was clear the political conflict that led to violence in Zimbabwe's 2008 elections accelerated the economic decline witness since 2000 in particular.
He praised the parties to the power sharing government for signing the 2008 Global Political Agreement, saying the unity government had allowed Zimbabwe to enjoy relative peace and political stability as well as restored economic growth.
Examining the parallel cases of Mozambique and Zimbabwe, Mr. Chissano said the protracted conflicts in the two countries – a devastating civil war in Mozambique, long political stalemate in Zimbabwe – impeded economic growth and development.
Describing the post-independence civil war that gripped Mozambique and made it the poorest nation in the world, Mr. Chissano said the effect on development was debilitating as countless lives were lost and infrastructure was destroyed.
He said internal strife in one country can have a negative impact on neighbors, urging nations in the region to seek to promote peace at home and across the region.