SADC did not approve the MDC’s call for a special summit on Zimbabwe, even though the political parties remain deadlocked on a number of issues and the Global Political Agreement has yet to be fully implemented. Instead the block recommended a meeting of the less influential Troika on Politics, Defence and Security.
Reacting to the outcome of the Kinshasa summit, MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said: “There is still an inconclusive structure of government, governors are not yet appointed, the Gono and Tomana issue are still not concluded but there is reluctance by SADC to approach things head-on.”
“There is burying of the head in the sand and the decisions and choices (being made) look at one side and listen to one side without looking at this matter objectively. We have outstanding issues as a country. They are not MDC issues, they are national issues that are supposed to be dealt with for purposes of injecting confidence in the nation and also to the entire international community.”
Chamisa added; ‘It is disheartening, discouraging and disappointing that we have an ostrich mentality of burying the head in the sand,’ and that ‘kid gloving’ is fast becoming the conduct of leaders in Africa.
The MDC had appealed to SADC to put pressure on Robert Mugabe to implement all the provisions of the GPA, including the swearing in of their Deputy Agricultural Minister, Roy Bennett.
But the state controlled Herald newspaper revealed on Wednesday that soon after the Kinshasa summit Mugabe said Bennett’s appointment could not be considered a "make or break issue" for the inclusive Government and insisted he is not prepared to swear him in. He said the MDC would be better off finding another candidate for the position. Bennett is facing terrorism and sabotage charges, which he says are part of a long term campaign by ZANU PF to victimise him.
According to the Herald, Mugabe said he was not prepared ‘as a matter of principle to swear into office someone who was facing criminal charges.’
They went on to quote Mugabe as saying he was ‘baffled by the fascination MDC-T had with the appointment of this particular white man with the kind of history he has into government as if they are short of manpower’.”
Chamisa said this issue is not about personalities but about principles, as each political party is supposed to submit officials of their own choice. “The MDC is very blind on skin colour, blind on tribe, blind on issues of gender and this is why we find it very difficult to even respond to such racist remarks.”
He also castigated the Herald for becoming a ‘big herald’ of lies and printing racist propaganda, in violation of the GPA.
Meanwhile, observers say the latest utterances by Mugabe and the general approach by SADC shows the danger of forming an inclusive government with ZANU PF, before resolving the outstanding issues.
If anyone was hoping that SADC would, one day soon, hold a special summit on Zimbabwe, Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba made it very clear that is never going to happen.
Also quoted in the Herald he said: “SADC is not an inter-party body, it is an inter-governmental organisation. An extraordinary summit is only convened by member states to deal with an urgent and threatening issue. The remarkable progress registered by the inclusive Government is far from being a menace and is in fact a happy occurrence in which SADC leaders are celebrating and will not call an extraordinary summit for.” SW Radio Africa