SADC Facilitation Team Wants To Meet Security Chiefs

Harare, – A team of South African negotiators facilitating the Zimbabwean political party dialogue aimed at ending the country’s decade long political crisis are planning to meet with members of the security sector to discuss their future and role in politics.\r\n

A spokesperson of the facilitating team told Radio VOP that her team was ready to meet the securocrats to here their concerns on the political future of the country.

The role of the security sector in the country’s politics is one of the contentious issues that threaten the successful implementation of the GPA and conclusion of a roadmap to the country’s elections.

“Security Sector Reform is now on the agenda ahead of next elections. The facilitation team has resolved to engage the securocrats directly to present concerns and also to hear their concerns,” said Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu, President Jacob Zuma’s International Affairs adviser who also acts as the facilitation team’s spokesperson.

The role of the security sector in politics has been one of the major impediments to the completion of a crucial elections roadmap. The MDC wants security chiefs to publicly denounce violence and swore allegiance to the constitution not political parties. However Zanu (PF) has been digging in saying the securocrats should not be put on the discursive agenda of the political parties.

The securocrats have in the past vowed that they will not accept any politician without liberation war credentials to become the president of Zimbabwe. They have also played a very pronounced role in the country’s politics.

Analysts believe if the question of securocrat’s role in politics is not handled conclusively the country will never be guaranteed a smooth transfer of power in the event that another politician not from Zanu (PF) wins elections.

SADC however appears to e hardening its stance on Zimbabwe since the organ troika summit held in Livingstone, Zambia.
The SADC appointed facilitator Jacob Zuma will today dispatch his envoy Mac Maharaj to Harare to continue with talks focussed on an election roadmap which has to be agreed before a crucial SADC summit meeting on Zimbabwe scheduled for Namibia next week.

“SADC is committed to democracy and free and fair elections. The spirit of Livingstone (the stern SADC Troika Resolutions spirit) is very much alive and strong,” said Zulu.

Meanwhile Zulu told Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition in Zimbabwe representative in South Africa on Monday that South Africa did not want Zimbabwe to hold violent elections like those that were held in 2008.

Zulu told Dewa Mavhinga, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Information and Advocacy Coordinator that Zimbabwe’s next elections must be ‘totally different’. Mavhinga met Zulu to hear the progress that has been made by the facilitation team on the Zimbabwe crisis.

“I had a meeting with Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu in Pretoria on the side-lines of a Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) High Level Meeting on the Zimbabwe Roadmap to Elections where we both made presentations. She said tomorrow (Tuesday) one member of the Facilitation Team will travel to Harare to meet with the principals to push the Roadmap issues where there is no agreement,” Mavhinga said.

“Zulu said Zimbabwe will not have elections in 2011 because there is a lot of work to be done in the area of reforms and creating a conducive environment for free and fair elections. The GPA and its full implementation is the basis of the Elections Roadmap but will take on board various views from all stakeholders and will be informed by 2008 elections experiences.”

Mavhunga said Zulu said the security sector reforms issue is now on the agenda ahead of next elections and the facilitation team has resolved to “engage the securocrats directly to present concerns and also to hear their concerns.”

He added that Zulu could not confirm the full SADC summit on May 20 and that sanctions imposed by the West on President Robert Mugabe and his inner circle must go.

“The SADC Extra-ordinary Summit on Zimbabwe scheduled for 20 May in Windhoek is not confirmed yet as there are clashing meetings that may lead to it being shifted – but SADC Troika is fully aware of the need to urgently meet over Zimbabwe,” Mavhinga said.

“She said sanctions need to go because she and team believe they are not serving their intended purpose and secondly, they are impeding good progress being made.”

Radio VOP understands that Zuma has send Mac Maharaj to meet Zimbabwe political parties principals over the agreements and disagreements that were made in Cape Town.