SADC Impatient With Zimbabwe

“The Troika of the Organ shall appoint a team of officials to join the Facilitation Team and work with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) to ensure monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the GPA. The Troika shall develop the Terms of Reference, time frames and provide regular progress report, the first, to be presented during the next SADC Extraordinary Summit. Summit will review progress on the implementation of GPA and take appropriate action,” noted recommendations that come out at the troika’s summit held in Zambia.

The summit also endorsed the report of the SADC Facilitation on Zimbabwe. It received the report on the political and security situation in the country as presented by the SADC Facilitator Zuma. The summit appreciated the frankness with which the report was presented by the SADC Facilitator and commended him for the work done so far.

The summit recalled past SADC decisions on the implementation of the GPA and noted with disappointment insufficient progress thereof and expressed its impatience in the delay of the implementation of the GPA.

It also noted with grave concern the polarisation of the political environment as characterised by, inter alia, resurgence of violence, arrests and intimidation in Zimbabwe.

The SADC Troika Summit on Zimbabwe held at Zambezi Sun Hotel was attended by Zuma, Zambia’s Rupiah Banda, Mozambique’s Armando Guebuza and Namibia’s Hifikepunye Pohamba as well as Zimbabwe’s principals President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara. The troika also formally recognised Welshman Ncube, president of the smaller faction of the Movement Democratic Change.

The deliberations on Zimbabwe lasted just 1hour 30mins, ending at 9pm. At 10.40pm SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao read out the SADC Troika Summit Communiqué.

The troika also resolved to review progress on the implementation of the GPA and take appropriate action.

It also demanded an immediate end of violence, intimidation, hate speech, harassment, and any other form of action that contradicts the spirit of the GPA.

It said all stakeholders to the GPA should implement all the provisions of the GPA and create a conducive environment for peace, security, and free political activity.

“The inclusive government should complete all the steps necessary for the holding of the election including the finalisation of the constitutional amendment and the referendum,” it noted.

It was also recommended that SADC should assist Zimbabwe to formulate guidelines that will assist in holding an election that will be peaceful, free and fair, in accordance with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections.

In his official SADC Troika Summit opening speech President Banda of Zambia said, among other things: ” If there is anything that we must learn from the upheavals going on in the northern part of our continent, it is that the legitimate expectations of the citizens of our countries cannot be taken for granted. We must, therefore, continue at the SADC level to consolidate democracy through the establishment of institutions that uphold the tenets of good government, respect for human rights and the rule of law.

“We must also uphold various international laws and conventions under the African Union and the United Nations that we are parties to…I wish, therefore, to call upon the SADC Troika to bring to life mechanisms such as the SADC Electoral Advisory Council, the SADC Mediation Reference Group and the Panel of Elders, whose establishment was approved at the Windhoek Summit in August 2010.”

The summit also called on Laurent Gbagbo to hand over power to the internationally recognised winner of the Ivorian Presidential Elections, Allassane Ouattara, with immediate effect in order to avoid further bloodshed.

Mugabe left for Harare immediately after the summit with his entourage of 59 people, including at least six medical personnel. Finance Minister Tendai Biti of the MDC joined Mugabe on the chartered Air Zimbabwe flight to Harare.

Dr. Salomao said he will check his diary to see when he can be in Harare to address the civil society.

“We are planning a follow up meeting with president Zuma’s Facilitation Team and next Wednesday in Harare we have a meeting with the Ambassadors of South Africa, Mozambique, Zambia and Namibia at the Namibian Embassy in Borrowdale.”