Sadc summit fails to tackle Mugabe

August 22, 2011 at 11:55 am Leave a comment


THE just ended Sadc summit in Angola promised so much in terms of solving
the Zimbabwe crisis yet delivered so little, as Zimbabwe’s feuding parties
came back literally empty handed.

Political analysts had described the heads of state summit in Luanda as a
make or break meeting for Zimbabwe, but as with so many summits, little was
gained in terms of solving the years-long impasse blighting the country’s
political economic and political prospects.

Couched in diplomatic language, Sadc urged the parties to the Global
Political Agreement (GPA) to remain “committed to the implementation and
finalise the roadmap on outstanding issues”.

Analysts have described the meetings as more the same, pointing out that the
same issues that were raised in Livingstone, Zambia and Sandton, South
Africa were echoed by the Angola summit, as the regional leaders failed to
take a definitive stand on Zimbabwe.

Civic society leaders from across the region expressed disdain at Sadc
efforts to solve regional crises, describing the bloc as a toothless

“Sadc has to show that it has power to enforce its resolutions. So far there
have been no decisive steps to ensure that,” Phillip Pasirayi, the
spokesperson for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, told AFP last week.

In a statement after the summit, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said they were
disappointed that no firm action had been taken, but found solace in that no
ground had been lost.

“(The summit) does not have significant forward strides, at least it is not
retrogressive — it leaves much up to Zimbabwe’s political leaders to
implement the GPA and carry out reforms,” the statement read.

“Sadc has become an old boys club, an institution of heads of state. There
was no subject of substance on the table for these leaders,” Swaziland
pro-democracy activist Musa Hlophe said.

The warring parties, Zanu PF and the two factions of the MDC, have so far
failed to agree on a time frame to hold elections and are divided on how to
handle western sanctions imposed on President Robert Mugabe and his close

In the days leading to the summit, analysts had hoped that the summit would
build on what they saw as successes in Sandton and Livingstone and persuade
Mugabe to make more concessions to his coalition partners, but Sadc failed
to stamp its authority.

Zimbabweans must solve own problems

Political analyst, Effie Ncube said it was now time for introspection from
Zimbabweans, as the solution to the country’s problems lay within.

“The time has come for us to stop looking towards Sadc for a solution, they
have failed,” he said. “We have to ask ourselves how we can end the
stand-off without looking to outsiders for help.”

Ncube said the problem was that the region itself was divided on how to
handle the Zimbabwe crisis, with some countries backing Mugabe and Zanu PF,
while others backed the two formations of the MDC.

MDC-T deputy spokesperson Tabitha Khumalo concurred with Ncube, that it was
time for Zimbabweans to take charge of their destiny and confront the
challenges they were faced with.

“The masses must move the country and make it into the Zimbabwe we want,”
she said.

Khumalo also agreed that another challenge was that most of the countries in
Sadc were run by former liberation parties and these tended to side with
Zanu PF.

“We are a progressive party and it is difficult to make the liberation
parties take a tough stand against Zanu PF,” she said.

MDC spokesman, Nhlanhla Dube said Sadc was on track to meet its mandate,
arguing that the solution to the crisis lay with Zimbabweans.

“The problems are Zimbabweans themselves, who have not been able to
implement what they agree on,” he said.

Dube said the shortcoming with Sadc was that it did not have instruments to
cajole the warring parties to implement agreements but rather could only
urge them diplomatically.

Sadc backs zuma role on Zim

The Luanda Sadc summit resolved that South African President Jacob Zuma
(pictured) will remain a mediator in the Zimbabwean crisis, a deadly body
blow to Zanu PF’s campaign to have him removed.

Zanu PF argued that since Zuma was taking over as the chairman of the Sadc
organ on politics, defence and security, he could not be expected to report
to himself on the Zimbabwean crisis.

The former ruling party is not happy with the South African leader’s robust
approach into resolving the country’s decade-long crisis.


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