"Summit successful": Zanu PF

HARARE – Zanu PF Secretary for Information and Publicity, Rugare Gumbo yesterday was at pains trying to explain the outcome of the Extraordinary Summit of SADC held in South Africa over the weekend saying it was positive and successful.

In a press statement released this Tuesday afternoon, Gumbo said the Summit highlighted and embraced most of the major issues which where of concern to Zanu PF.

He said the party’s call for the immediate removal of the illegal economic sanctions by western countries was covered in clause 31 of the Communiqué.

Gumbo also said Zanu PF called for adherence to the GPA, specifically to the life span of the Inclusive Government, constitution making process, the referendum and the subsequent holding of harmonised elections this year.

“The Summit confirmed our position on the need to move faster with the implementation of the GPA which the party has called for,” said Gumbo.

He further said Zanu PF welcomes the decision by the Summit not to endorse the Livingstone Troika Communiqué which it only noted in passing.

Gumbo said: “Contrary to what the MDC formations and the private media would like people to believe, the Extraordinary Summit of Heads of State and Governments held in South Africa threw the Livingstone Troika Communiqué into the dustbin and at the same time refused to entertain issues outside the GPA.”

He commended the Zanu PF delegation to the SADC Summit for clarifying the issues in the country to the world and for clearly articulating the party’s position and strategic direction.  

Zanu PF says the deliberate misinformation and distortion of the SADC Summit Communiqué by the western-sponsored MDC formations and the non-governmental organisations (NGOs) is intended to confuse the people of Zimbabwe.

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However, Gumbo said such tactics will not alter the true position of the Summit.

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Meanwhile State media has quoted what it said were Diplomatic sources saying the fact that the Livingstone report was not endorsed at the recent SADC Summit in South Africa is clear that its contents were full of grey areas, which were not even consistent with the Global Political Agreement.

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It said one of the diplomatic sources close to South African President Jacob Zuma revealed that the SADC block has finally taken a position against western machinations after refusing to endorse the Livingstone meeting that gave a false impression that things are not well in Zimbabwe.

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Another “Diplomatic” source said to be close to the discussion held by President Zuma and Mugabe in Pretoria is reported to have said SADC leaders have closed ranks with President Mugabe and will not brook what it called western machinations of using some internal forces to divide the bloc as what transpired in Livingstone.

The “source” (not sure if it is same Diplomatic source) revealed that “even Lindiwe Zulu has finally come out clear, saying issues to deal with security reforms in Zimbabwe and SADC is a sensitive one.

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The diplomatic source is alleged to have said what SADC leaders are now advocating for is a speedy implementation of the Election Roadmap in line with the GPA.

Another diplomatic source in Sandton, South Africa said President Zuma’s meeting with Mugabe was crucial as it resolved that SADC should resort to its founding principles that African problems need African solutions.

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In another development, Zanu PF said the continued shifting of goal posts by the MDC-T in the constitution making process is a calculated move to extend the inclusive government as they are afraid of losing elections.

I said the constitution making process has been characterised by back biting and inconsistencies, with the parties involved in what it said unexpected shifting goal posts in a move that is making the process longer than it should be.

A Zanu PF legal expert, Mr Fortune Chasi said the composition of COPAC will make it cumbersome for the country to immediately have a constitution as seen by the MDC-T labouring to delay the process to extend the inclusive government.

“What we have in COPAC is a difficult situation. We have Zanu PF members who want elections as soon as possible and the MDC-T, which do not want elections any time soon,” Mr Chasi said.

A Zanu PF legislator, Kudakwashe Bhasikiti said they are becoming irritated by the antics of the MDC-T, arguing that the party realised too late that it had no grassroots support.

“The MDC-T is trying to delay the process as they have now realised during the thematic stages that their views are not cooperated in what the people said,” said Bhasikiti.

Reports say the constitution making process came to a halt on Friday following a standoff between the parties involved.

Contacted for comment COPAC Zanu PF Co-Chairperson, Paul Mangwana confirmed that there are disagreements but could not comment as the matter has been referred to the management committee.