Mugabe in desperate bid to mislead nation on SADC Summit

Johannesburg, – The embattled former ruling party Zanu (PF) was on Sunday night set to confuse the world on the outcome of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) special meeting on Zimbabwe held here as it told state owned media journalists that SADC had rejected the Livingstone resolutions which is a personal view expressed by President Robert Mugabe in the meeting.

According to insiders, Mugabe’s requests to completely throw away the Livingstone resolutions were flatly rejected by the mediator, South African President Jacob Zuma.

Insiders said Mugabe gave a very long speech trying to justify why the Livingstone recommendations should be shot down. Insiders further said on finishing his long speech, one of Mugabe’s close aides in the meeting rushed to communicate this view to Caeser Zvayi of the state owned Herald and Reuben Barwe of the ZBC as the view of the SADC meeting.

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In the State media, the headline “SADC rejects Livingstone resoltuion” carried the day in a bid to spin a dismall failure by Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF to smuggle their agenda at the Summit.

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The SADC Communique Article 22. said Summit noted the decisions of the Organ Troika Summit held in Livingstone, Zambia in March 2011. and Article 23. said Summit mandated the Organ Troika to continue to assist Zimbabwe in the full implementation of the GPA.

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State media went on to say, President Mugabe had said, “it was a good meeting and President Jacob Zuma’s report was different from that at the Livingstone meeting.”

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He said the roadmap to elections has been established and what is left is the time frame. Zanu PF has previously rejected what it called intereference in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe and categorically said no to Roadmap arguing that it was not an item in the orginal GPA.

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‘‘It came out very well. There was a very good report by the facilitator (President Jacob Zuma) where he acknowledged the efforts that the GPA is making, in other words what our negotiators and the principals put together are making and that there is progress now, that there is work going on to establish the roadmap, that the highlights of the roadmap have been marked that what remains now are the timelines,” he said.

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About the Livingstone Troika issue, the President absolved his South African counterpart of any wrongdoing saying the President Zuma had presented a report of what transpired, but basing on the MDC-T document.

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He said, “It turns out that his actual report is very innocent. It is more what was discussed based on the document yaTsvangirai, apparently, that emerged as the report ya facilitator otherwise the facilitator made a very innocent report. You will get it if you look for it.”

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Mugabe did not tell his mob that his agenda for election this year was unsuccesful.

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Insiders alleged Mugabe’s officers left with a draft communiqué, which did not capture everything that transpired at the meeting so it could cause ‘confusion to the world’.

“Mugabe was highly humiliated by Zuma today,” confirmed one insider who did not want to be named.

Lindiwe Zulu, the South African President, a member of Jacob Zuma’s facilitator on Zimbabwe told Radio VOP in an interview:“the meeting had mixed feelings with some expressing displeasure and discomfort”, a comment believed to be referring to Mugabe.

The meeting was said to be attended by four officials from each political party. Mugabe was accompanied by among others, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa. Those who attended from the Morgan Tsvangirai led Movement of Democratic Change included, Tsvangirai, Finance Minister and Secretary General of the party, Tendai Biti, Organising Secretary, Nelson Chamisa, Jameson Timba and Elton Mangoma. Welshman Ncube and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga were among those that represented the smaller MDC faction while Arthur Mutambara left before the meeting started.

However Salamao confirmed that Mutambara had left because of the internal struggles of their party, the smaller faction of the MDC, and SADC did not want to be involved because the matter is still before the courts.

Mutambara, who is one of the three principals who signed the Global Political Agreement (GPA), insists he still heads the MDC and has refused to step down as the deputy prime minister of Zimbabwe to pave way for Ncube.

The SADC meeting on Zimbabwe started around 6pm after SADC heads of states and their representatives had finished a Common Market of Eastern and Southern Africa (Comesa) meeting which launched a Free Trade Area, and ended around 9pm.

Tsvangirai also left without addressing the media, although his officials availed themselves for interviews. The MDC formations were happy by the mere fact that the Livingstone resolutions had been endorsed, paving way for implementation. They were pleased by the fact that Zuma had insisted there was no going back on the Livingstone resolutions.

The Livingstone document basically sought to end violence, called on the full implementation of the GPA, the drawing up of an election road map and the appointment of a three member delegation from the Troika of the Organ to join the Facilitation Team and work with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) to ensure monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the GPA.

The next SADC summit is expected to be in August in Luanda, Angola. It is also expected that the Zimbabwe political parties would have finalised time lines for elections and implemented fully the outstanding issues of the GPA.

Some of the outstanding issues of the GPA includes the conclusion of media reforms particularly the broadcasting sector, security reforms, clean up of the voters’ roll, finalisation of the constitution and the holding of the referendum.

Political analysts however feared that implementation of the Livingstone resolutions will remain a challenge if animosity between MDC parties and Zanu (PF) continues.

“It means the struggle continues and it also means that Zuma and his team need to continue to push harder for a solution. If the strict stance taken by Zuma at this meeting continues, then Zimbabwe is on a sure road to change,” said one political commentator. “This will only work if SADC enforces what it agrees upon and not to leave it to the parties to solve the problems on their own because that will be an enormous challenge. For example it is difficult to see how Zanu (PF) can agree to the resolutions endorsed by the summit when its leader wanted the resolutions completely thrown away.”