SADC – Zanu-pf roadmap to nowhere

OPINION – At a time when we thought SADC leaders had redeemed themselves at Livingstone, Zambia and were now focused, instead the regional bloc is back to its comfort zone – babysitting the dictatorship in Harare. The timing of the SADC leaders’ mission could not have been more inappropriate.

What is clear, however, is the fact that on receiving premature media reports that Zimbabwe’s GPA negotiators had reached a so-called agreement on a roadmap, SADC probably prompted by Zanu-pf envoys immediately found it opportune to approach Western countries with the ‘good tidings’ and to sweeten them to lift targeted sanctions when actually that roadmap is a big joke.

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But what is still rather unusual is that President Zuma’s envoys and the SADC delegation found it worthwhile to plead with Western countries to lift a travel ban on Mugabe and his wife which were imposed for violence, human rights abuses and vote rigging despite the fact that violence has increased and everything remains as it was in 2001 except for the full supermarket shelves where only the rich can buy due to 80 percent unemployment rate.

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The regional bloc’s decision to sell its soul for Robert Mugabe and his loyalists is baffling in the aftermath of remarks by Zanu-pf Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa that there will be no Diasposa vote as long as he is not welcome to travel to Europe and America. He was said to have asked those who wanted to vote to return to Zimbabwe. Obviously there is a high risk of abduction and torture in Zimbabwe at the moment.

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The negative effect of that utterance when Zimbabwe is trying to come up with a peaceful solution to its crisis can only be blamed on SADC which does not deplore such inflammatory speeches.

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Interestingly, in the wake of his statement, Zanu-pf violence is said to have erupted throughout the country targeting opposition supporters like in 2008.

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SADC may need to urge Minister Mnangagwa to refresh his memory of constitutional law that the voting rights for 3-4 million Zimbabweans in the Diaspora has nothing to do to with 200 Zanu-pf’s hardliners who are on a self-inflicted travel ban and asset freeze for rights abuses which have escalated. The two are unrelated.

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What SADC leaders are doing shows that their roadmap for Zimbabwe is actually a roadmap to nowhere if not a roadmap to anarchy because of their connivance with Zanu-pf.

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Clifford Chitupa Mashiri, Political Analyst, London, zimanalysis2009@gmail.com