South Africa's President Ramaphosa is currently visiting Zimbabwe. He called on the International community to assist with aid during their economically fragile journey. Actually, he said South Africa will "assist Zimbabwe" within their means. In fact, they did donate, but not to help the economy. Instead, they donated ZAR55 million (approx $3,8m) to Zimbabwe's police force, ZimLive reported. He also called on the USA to lift targeted sanctions on the country.

Zimbabwe helped by South Africa, but not where it matters most

UK Parliament reported on February 5, 2019, that they had an International Development Committee take "evidence from the Minister for Africa on the recent violent crackdown by Zimbabwe security forces." At that time, strong calls went out to Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, to step up and assist the country in going in the right direction.

It came amidst reports of armed soldiers committing acts of violence on women and children, using live ammunition in confronting protesters, and conducting abductions of activists.

The economic conditions in the country hit a major spark when the country increased fuel prices, making it the most expensive in the world. President Mnangagwa's promises to fix the economy, and his statements that Zimbabwe was "open for business," seemed to have failed miserably.

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Continued opposition protests were marred by violence, which both sides allege came from rogue elements infiltrating the other side. Chamisa of the MDC said ruling party cadres were dressing up as MDC and causing the violence. Meanwhile, the government thought MDC supporters had acquired military equipment and caused the problems to have an ax to grind.

US Sanctions and the old 'third party' accusations arise

Under the rule of Robert Mugabe who was ousted by President Mnangagwa, that mysterious third force often raised its head when things went wrong in the country.

Even the MDC's popularity was never accredited to capable young politicians, but rather to external sources influencing Zimbabweans to act in foreign best interests. On social media, this is still evident among the ruling party youth. More and more, they are aiming at the US government, telling them to lift sanctions, and they blame the USA for the current economic woes.

This is not confined to Zanu PF youth, but in a way, also comes from South Africa's President Ramapohosa.

Fin24 reported that Ramaphosa "supports Zimbabwe's government, ignoring reports of human rights abuses to crush persistent dissent." In fact, Ramaphosa took it further, saying that "sanctions against Mnangagwa and dozens of other top Zimbabwean officials are "unfair" and "unjust." Recently, Donald Trump signed to keep sanctions on individuals in Zimbabwe. They also reported that this all comes as a Human Rights Watch urged African leaders to try and get the Zimbabwean president to put an end to "abuses by the security forces."

Zimbabwe not urged to curb military, given money to arm them

Instead of curbing the use of military force in Zimbabwe, South Africa actually gave them more funding to boost their forces.

The millions of South African Rands handed over is specifically to train more police and provide them with more equipment to hold protesters in check. The country is in dire economic straits with a potential drought this year which could be devastating. However, South Africa felt their donation would be best placed in preventing protests against the economic crisis and the rule of law.

The Herald ZW reported that Zimbabwe's Dr. Moyo thanked South Africa, saying, “When a neighbour’s house catches you don’t ask who caused it. You just go and extinguish the fire and later on you can then investigate who exactly did it when it has been extinguished.”

The US Embassy tweeted, "Zimbabwe’s economic recovery depends on its ability to deliver on promised political and economic reforms. Failed economic policies, not sanctions, hinders Zimbabwe’s economic growth."

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