SADC Troika can bite

OPINION – Good old Bob had the surprise of his life when after several serious threats to his usually loyal “wives” in Parliament at least two of them went ahead and voted for Lovemore Moyo and not for S. K. Moyo as Speaker of the august house

This is the kind of disloyalty that normally costs a party member their seat if not their life. Even now, a serious witch hunt is in progress to identify the “sell-out” and deal with them in the Zanu way. There is strong suspicion that the culprits might be from the Mnangagwa faction as it is generally believed that SK is more aligned to the Mujuru faction. Lovemore Moyo’s win has therefore left both factions with heaps of egg on their faces.

But that was not the only surprise that Mugabe had to face last week. The SADC Troika, meeting in Livingstone, Zambia had an even worse surprise for the geriatric. Contrary to the usual toothless bulldog approach typical of the 14-member regional body, the Troika meeting was opened by President Banda with a scathing attack on the regional dictator, Mugabe, who was warned in very clear terms that if he did not speedily ensure the resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis what was happening in North Africa could easily also happen in his country as well as spill over in to the other southern African countries.

The Troika had all of a sudden developed teeth, thanks to Egypt, Tunisia and now Libya. It went on to make several firm resolutions essentially instructing Mugabe and his colleagues in the inclusive government to get on with the job of implementing the global political agreement (GPA) as had been agreed.

In more than three decades at the helm of this damaged nation Mugabe had never been instructed by anyone on how to run this country. When the Commonwealth came too close to doing that, Bob dragged his country out of the Club. The question is will he do the same with the SADC? Is Mugabe going to defy the Troika and threaten to pull his country out of the regional body? Is he going to stop the political violence that is occurring in various parts of this country? Is he going to stop arresting MDC Members of Parliament and supporters?

We wait to see what he will do in the next few weeks. My guess is that the old man will do only some of the things that the Troika directed that they be done. His attitude after arriving home was quite telling. He basically told the Troika to go to hell, after it effectively read him the riot act; he would not spend the following night in Livingstone, but flew back home straight after the meeting.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai must be commended for the good work of lobbying the relevant SADC leaders well in advance of the Livingstone meeting. He briefed the leaders fully on what was happening in the country, highlighting the real danger of an uprising should they fail to rein in the old man and his securocrats. A situation where Zanu (PF) is allowed to hold all and any meetings it wishes to hold while the MDC formations are refused permission to hold their meetings is totally unacceptable.

The arrest of MDC MPs failed to enable SK to win the vote to become the Speaker of Parliament. Most, if not all, current cases before the courts, where MDC members are alleged to have broken the law will also come to nought. Try as it may, Zanu (PF) is clearly on its way out of power. Chii chati go mugomo?