Zanu-pf in semantic war over SADC communiqué

OPINION – An unfortunate propaganda campaign is raging in Harare over the wording of the Communique of the recently concluded SADC Summit held in Sandton, Joburg over the weekend. Zanu-pf is engaged in an unnecessary semantics war about just one word ‘noted’!

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For unclear reasons, Zanu-pf has chosen to split hairs over the word ‘noted’ instead of ‘endorsed’ which was used in the communiqué in paragraph 22  where it says:

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‘Summit noted the decision of the Organ Troika Summit held in Livingstone, Zambia in March 2011’.

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Regardless of the interpretation one prefers, the meaning of the two words in conference jargon is the same. A dictionary meaning of ‘endorsed’ is ‘formally supported by public statement,’ while, ‘noted’ means ‘to make particular mention of in a writing.’

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At the end of the day the two words mean the same. In other words the Sandton Summit noted the resolutions which were endorsed by the Livingstone Troika Summit in March. The Livingstone resolutions were about the need to stop state-sponsored violence on the opposition; the need to stop hate speech and to create an even playing field or conducive environment for holding free and fair elections.

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If you work in an office and write a memo to your boss who then says I have noted your memo during a staff meeting, you don’t have to follow up with the boss asking what they are going to do about it, unless you need a reprimand.

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However, for Zanu-pf to say the Summit rejected the Livingstone Resolutions is only wishful thinking or burying one’s head in the sand like an ostrich. There is no reference to rejection of anything anywhere in the communiqué, therefore the Zimbabwe State media is misleading the public.

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