SADC’s Zimbabwe insanity

OPINION – Is it any wonder that the Southern African Development Community continuously fails to achieve closure on the issues that affect the region? Zimbabwe is just the latest in their long line of failures to act with anything like the courage, vision and resolve required to bring solutions to problem areas.

Indeed if it were left up to me I would make the delegates to Sunday’s summit personally foot the bill for this conference and the damages that their ineptitude will undoubtedly occasion.

On Sunday their mandate was simple — deal with the deadlock between the parties regarding the allocation of cabinet posts in Zimbabwe in a manner that would not only break the deadlock but would achieve sufficient universal acceptance to restore investment. The impasse arising from a power sharing deal most generously accepted by Morgan Tsvangirai and the MDC who had won the election in the first place.

The power sharing deal had been accepted on the basis that Mugabe would remain president and head the cabinet while Tsvangirai would head the Council of Ministers as prime minister having de facto control of the running of the country. In terms of the cabinet the MDC and the MDC splinter party would control 16 ministries to the Zanu-PF 15.

Crucial to this and to avoid repeating the bloodshed we have witnessed for many years now, is the portfolio for Home Affairs going to the MDC because within that ministry is control over the police. In addition Finance also had to fall to the MDC if the international community was to recognise the potential of the arrangement and reinvest.

This is basic Zimbabwe Power-Sharing 101.

The SADC on Sunday thereupon resolved to try to force the MDC to accept sharing Home Affairs with the Zanu-PF. This suggests that either the delegates don’t have access to television, the internet or newspapers or they’ve missed the bloodshed, which has been ongoing for the last eight years.

Whose brilliant idea was it to give Mugabe and the Zanu-PF another crack at their population? Worse yet, wasn’t there even one delegation with the courage or wisdom to work out that firstly it would not be acceptable to Tsvangirai or the international community and secondly that the very thing that power-sharing would achieve ie Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s ability to brutalise the population being removed, was being handed back to them by the same geniuses in the SADC who have been forking out billions to look after his exiles’ desperate to escape this brutal regime?

The head of the South African delegation must go into Alexandra this afternoon and address the citizens of the township with the truth of what this SADC meeting achieved. Along the lines of:

“Citizens of Alexandra, we are acutely aware of the fact that you cannot get housing because you are swamped with Zimbabwean exiles, your jobs are also being taken by them because they are cheaper and don’t belong to unions and that our ability to deliver on services is going to be hugely retarded as a result of the billions upon billions we are spending to care for Mugabe and Zanu-PF’s exiles in order that they continue to live an elite lifestyle. However I’m sure that you are all happy that this be allowed to continue because we know that you believe it is far more important not to upset Mugabe than it is to look after our country, its people and restore our region”.

If the speaker survives Russian Township Roulette then the next member of our delegation goes to the next township and repeats the exercise. Don’t worry about being the second guy, the first genius will never make it out of Alexandra and our geniuses will finally get the message.

Right there in our dealings with Zimbabwe is the primary cause of the xenophobia that arose in this country. Not the conduct of our masses and the Zimbabwean exiles but the whole policy on Zimbabwe adopted by the government and exacerbated by an SADC that is more dangerous to the region than a vacuum of regional leadership would be.

That is the truth; all I would like to know is when do our delegates begin their “Tour de Confession”.

Better still, I’d like to hear how the SADC proposes restoring Zimbabwe and protecting the five million on the brink of starvation, while Zanu-PF continues to steal everything of value in that country and every facet of their society is being destroyed. Particularly now that the international community has expressed its disappointment with the SADC’s “solution”.

South Africans need to know who is paying for that summit because I trust that the delegates will have the decency to spare us and go Dutch on that bill.

Better yet, let the idiots go live in Holland where they can do less damage to the region!