King Mswati expresses optimism on Zimbabwe
His Majesty King Mswati III says unity of purpose and support for the people of Zimbabwe are key ingredients towards a lasting solution to the challenges currently faced by that country.
The King reiterated that SADC will continue to support efforts to find solutions to the Zimbabwe question, but stressed that the major players in untangling the country from the political difficulties it faces were the people of Zimbabwe themselves.
His Majesty said the SADC Troika and its mother body enjoyed the advantage of working in common purpose, with the same motive and a common understanding which the King listed as the key elements of hope for Zimbabwe.
He was speaking on Friday at Ludzidzini Royal Residence when responding to questions emanating from the recently concluded Extra-ordinary Summit of the Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, which was held in Maputo, Mozambique on Thursday.
The summit was attended by current chair of the Troika President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa and the leaders of the three Zimbabwe factions; President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his two deputies Professor Arthur Mutambara and Thokozani Khupe.
Zambia’s Minister of Defence Dr. Kalombo Mwansa and Ambassador Bene M’Poko represented their presidents. SADC Executive Secretary Dr. Tomaz Salomao was also present.
His Majesty also told the media that Tsvangirai, whose MDC-T had taken a stance of disengagement by refusing to work with the President Mugabe-led ZANU-PF in cabinet, agreed to SADC’s call for him to suspend such action and return to the field to implement the Global Political Agreement, governing that country’s inclusive government.
This was after a report of the Ministerial Committee of the Organ Troika was presented regarding the agreement and the situation in Zimbabwe.
“As SADC Troika, we urged all the parties to work hard and together to resolve the challenges and economic difficulties faced by that sister country. We have every reason to be optimistic for a lasting solution to the challenges so that we can all concentrate our energies on further developing our region.
We note that some ground has been covered since the inclusive government was formed, but realise the challenges at hand and the need for speedy resolution,” the King said.
He stressed that the Kingdom of Swaziland and its partners in the region had not departed from its stand-point that dialogue and peaceful negotiations was key to resolving all these issues.
Meanwhile, the summit noted with appreciation the progress made by the Joint Mediation Team on Madagascar led by the SADC facilitator Joaquim Chissano, former president of Mozambique in promoting dialogue among the four political leaders in order to restore the constitutional normalcy in Madagascar.
The four leaders were urged in Madagascar to fully commit themselves to the dialogue and secure a lasting solution to the political situation in the country.
The leaders also noted a report presented by the Ministerial Committee of the Organ Troika on the progress made in the political dialogue in Lesotho.
Amongst others, the summit noted with appreciation the role of the Christian Council of Lesotho (CCL) in facilitating dialogue amongst the Basotho political stakeholders and urged the parties to fully commit themselves to finding a lasting solution to the post-electoral matters and bring them to finality.
The summit also urged that the Lesotho Electoral Law be amended expeditiously.