Windhoek — Southern African Development Community chairperson, President Hage Geingob of Namibia, yesterday identified "external forces" as among agents hell-bent on destabilising Zimbabwe where recent social strife led to loss of lives.
He also called for the unconditional lifting of sanctions on Zimbabwe.
President Geingob said in a statement yesterday that after a briefing by Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Heads of State and Government on Friday last week, it was clear the dark forces of instability rode on the back of recent protests to render the country ungovernable.
Sadc commended the Mnangagwa administration for efforts to address socio-economic challenges and transform the economy.
The regional bloc also says government has worked hard to consolidate unity and peace in the troubled country.
"This, notwithstanding, some internal groups, in particular NGOs (non-governmental organisations), supported by external forces, have continued with their efforts to destabilise the country," Geingob said in a statement bearing the Sadc logo.
Last week Wednesday, Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Nelson Chamisa snubbed an invitation by Mnangagwa to join a political summit aimed at alleviating the country's deepening crisis, capped by protests over the worsening economy.
Mnangagwa invited leaders of the more than 20 political parties that participated in last year's polls to a post-election dialogue at his State House office.
"The Sadc Heads of State and Government also noted that in an effort to address the economic challenges in the country, the [Zimbabwe] government recently increased fuel prices. Unfortunately, violent demosntrators rode on the back of increases in fuel prices implement their intention to destabilise the country," reads Chairman Geingob's statement in part.
"The demonstrations resulted in the destruction of property and loss of life. Sadc condemns, in the strongest terms, the violence that ensued, and expresses sympathy with the affected families for the loss of their loved ones and their properties."
On sanctions, Geingob said Zimbabwe's efforts to transform the economy was being held back by the illegal sanctions imposed on the country 19 years ago - in 2000.
"Sadc expresses its solidarity with the government and the people of the Republic of Zimbabwe and calls upon the international community to unconditionally lift all sanctions imposed on the country," the Namibian head of state urged.