The most contentious issue probably was the Livingstone report presented by the SADC facilitator President Jacob Zuma which ZANU PF heavily contested basing on the editorials and counter propaganda articles by Jonathan Moyo discrediting the report and its author Jacob Zuma.

\r\n

To show its desperation ZANU PF  even sent what they called a ‘high powered’ delegation comprising of perennial bootlickers and discredited individuals in the mould of media hangman Mahoso, stone age activist Vimbai Chivaura and led by political turncoat Jonathan  Moyo to South Africa a few days before the summit to ‘tell the true story  Zimbabwe.’  All these efforts did not stop the SADC leaders to take a firm stance in endorsing the Livingstone report. And what the Sandton summit did was to stop ZANU PF and Mugabe’s ploy to have elections held this year.

\r\n

 After Sandton, we saw ZANU PF toning down on their call for elections to be held this year as they insisted initially. Their insistence on elections was probably the uncertainty on the health of their ageing octogenarian leader President Mugabe. However after  thoroughly perusing  the declaration of the summit I noted that SADC’s position on Zimbabwe has  not changed. There is absolutely nothing new in the Sandton declaration.

\r\n

The declaration is just but a continuation of what has always been agreed at every SADC summit and Troika meetings to date since this government was incepted. After every  series of negotiations they have been deadlines and timelines insisting on  the full implementation of the G.P.A, an end to politically motivated violence, removal of sanctions, closure of pirate radio stations, appointment of governors etc of which to date none of these issues have been addressed.  I doubt if what was agreed in Sandton is going to be implemented. Zimbabweans will only be able to measure success if the political parties in government are going to adhere and fulfil the clauses and timelines set in the election roadmap.

\r\n

I’m sure quite a number of people welcomed the summit resolutions which is good. However my worry is that as Zimbabweans we seem to be now relying too much on SADC without necessarily putting the much needed pressure on the ground to subdue ZANU PF’s hold on power. We have relaxed and retired from the trenches and placing our hope on SADC. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking help and advice from fellow  brothers in the region but it is the amount and nature of political work that we do here at home that will aid our struggle to dislodge ZANU PF. 

\r\n

There is need to re-organise the working class, students, vendors and the citizenry and engage in non violent action  like the once we saw in North Africa.  As of now the civil servants remuneration, high tuition fees in tertiary institutions are a good rallying point to mobilise the masses.  During the struggle for independence guerrillas from ZIPRA and ZANLA waged a protracted war here in Zimbabwe despite the fact that they were aided by other countries namely Mozambique, Zambia and Tanzania. Though SADC summits are good platforms to market our struggle regionally, it is also important if such efforts are done here at home.

\r\n

We all know that there are repressive pieces of legislation  like AIPPA and POSA but that should not be an excuse for failing to mobilise and do action on home soil than foreign lands. Even during the liberation struggle there were more repressive laws like LOMA but still the spirit of determination and quest for freedom inspired those who fought in the war.

\r\n

Turning to elections, I’m sure every  Zimbabwean you meet in the streets will surely confess to you that the environment is unfavourable for the holding of a credible election. The media polarisation, composition of the electoral body (ZEC),  violence that we have witnessed in the COPAC constitution making exercise will make it practically impossible for the holding of elections. As for us in the NCA we have made a position that the holding of an election under the present constitution is impossible because of its flaws that ZANU PF has been using to its advantage to stay in power. Others are saying that the elections will be held under the COPAC draft that is, if it has sailed through the referendum.

\r\n

An unlikely scenario basing on the flaws of the process. Obviously we in the NCA, as we are currently doing under the Take Charge Campaign, are vigorously campaigning for a rejection of the draft mainly because the process excluded the people of Zimbabwe. Like the 2000 scenario Zimbabweans will reject the COPAC draft and what that means is that we revert to the current constitution. The Copac draft will be even worse off than the Lancaster constitution because of the nature of the process in which the interests of the political players are taking precedence  hence its rejection.  

\r\n

The most likely scenario is that ZANU PF will insist on going to polls under the Lancaster Constitution and participating in that election will directly or indirectly mark a total capitulation to the forces of coercion and violence.

\r\n

 After the referendum we should reject elections and we should once again take  the constitutional debate to the centre stage in this transition.  It will be time for us to assert  the fundamental truth that democracy is for the people by the people. That its either people write the constitution or it’s done by politicians and rejected.  It will be only through a people driven constitution that will form the basis and foundations for reforms that will guarantee a free and fair election. That new constitution should be able to capture the following aspects if any credible election is to be held in Zimbabwe:- 

\r\n

·         A new and updated voters roll

\r\n

·          An independent electoral body

\r\n

·         Equal media access to contesting parties

\r\n

·         Violent and intimidation free environment

\r\n

·         A transparent voter registration process

\r\n

Blessing ‘Vuvuzela’ Vava is with the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA). He writes from Chipinge and can be contacted on blessingvava@gmail.com, blessingvava@ncazimbabwe.info

\r\n