SADC moves into Harare

SADC has turned its attention onto the performance of the Inclusive Government; in particular Harare’s handling of outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement (GPA). The move is meant to guarantee a peaceful and stable political environment for the next election.

As a first step, SADC shall second its officials to Harare to ensure compliance with the expected precepts and tenets of the GPA “as soon as possible”. Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF were strongly opposed to this latest position but the MDC and SADC remained resolute and unwavering for the sake of the people of Zimbabwe. At the end, Zanu PF lost its case.

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At its summit in Johannesburg, South Africa, which ended on Sunday night SADC ignored Zanu PF’s violent and emotional objections to the report and resolutions of its Organ on Defence and Security tabled earlier in Livingstone, Zambia, in March.

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After taking note of the report and the resolutions, SADC confirmed Africa’s confidence on the work of the troika and gave the committee a further mandate to help Zimbabwe in the implementation of the GPA.

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“Summit urged the Organ Troika to appoint their representatives as soon as possible to participate in the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC),” says the communiqué from the meeting.

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In addition: “Summit mandated the Secretariat to mobilise resources for JOMIC for it to discharge its functions. Summit encouraged the parties to the GPA to move faster in the implementation of the GPA and create a conducive environment to the holding of elections that will be free and fair, under conditions of a level political field.”

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Zanu PF became totally disoriented by the troika’s report and mounted a spiritedly abusive attack on South African president Jacob Zuma for his mature observations and proposals on the resolution of the Zimbabwean crisis.

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The attack became so personal that it isolated Zanu PF from regional political actors it previously considered as its traditional allies. The former ruling party was so incensed that it sought to rubbish the Livingstone meeting, called for a review of the report and its recommendations, and launched what it called a counter-offensive for a rescission of the report.

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Sunday’s full summit refused to bow down to Zanu PF’s desperate demands and maintained the pressure by insisting on a direct SADC involvement in monitoring the pace of progress towards a sober Zimbabwe.

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In spurning Zanu PF and its vitriol against President Zuma, the regional underwriter of the GPA stated bluntly that “summit commended H.E. Jacob G. Zuma, President of the Republic of South Africa, and the Facilitator for the Zimbabwe Political Dialogue for his efforts towards the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement.

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Summit urged the Organ Troika to remain seized with the implementation of the Global Political Agreement in Zimbabwe.”

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The MDC immediately welcomed the region’s progressive stance on the resolution of the national crisis. SADC’s latest position mirrored the MDC’s expectations and a desire for a clear roadmap to free and fair elections.

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A roadmap with specific timelines and benchmarks is only possible after the full implementation of all outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement. The MDC sees the acceptance of the facilitator’s report as particularly important for Zimbabwe as it exposes Zanu PF as the offending party in the inclusive government.

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Contrary to the assertions by Zanu PF that it was up to Zimbabweans to solve their own differences without what it called external interference, the founding principles of the SADC Organ on Defence and Security clearly mandate the region to intervene and save the people against roguish state behaviour.

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Zanu PF made frantic attempts to sway regional public opinion in Johannesburg without any success. It flew in all its key media spin doctors and bussed several supporters into the city to propagate its position. In the end, they lost the information war.

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Zimbabwe shall, once again, come under regional scrutiny at the annual SADC summit in August. At that meeting, the region expects visible progress in the fulfilment of the requirements of the GPA; an agreement on the remaining contentious issues blocking progress to a democracy and far-reaching political reforms; and an agreed roadmap to a credible election.

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A major success story from Johannesburg was the total rejection of the Zanu PF’s call for a snap election in 2011; together with that party’s warped idea insisting on the GPA as the only “roadmap to an election”.

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These two proposals were thrown out of the window and were never put on the table for debate and discussion.