SADC Tribunal Not Suspended – SADC Executive

“Let’s be clear on this. The (SADC) Tribunal was not suspended,” said Salamao in a telephone interview to Radio VOP on Wednesday. “No-one took a decision to suspend the Tribunal. What was said is that the Tribunal ‘s role or responsibility has to be reviewed by professionals and experts to come up with clear recommendations,” he said.

Salamao, in a direct rebuttal of Chinamasa statement to the state media on Tuesday, said the review of the SADC Tribunals role and responsibilities will firstly be done by a committee of SADC Justice ministers and Attorney Generals within a period of six months.

“In the meantime, they don’t entertain any new cases but they can deal with those they have at hand,” he said.

Chinamasa claimed that the SADC Tribunal, which had previously issued judgments unfavourable to Zanu (PF) regarding its land reform programme which saw the government seizing land from white commercial farmers for redistribution to landless blacks, had been suspended by the regional leaders meeting in Windhoek Namibia early this week. He said it would would not be hearing any cases for the next six months.

Meanwhile the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said was ‘reasonably’ happy with the outcome of the SADC meeting.

The meeting recommended that the outstanding issues in the unity government would be negotiated within one month.

“The summit recommended that the constitutional process be completed followed by a referendum… after the referendum Zimbabwe will go for an election,”MDC secretary general Tendai Biti told journalists in the capital Harare.

“SADC also recommended that the outstanding issues be discussed and resolved within a month.”

“On the issue of Zimbabwe personally I have never seen a more focused meeting in terms of the direction and I am absolutely no doubt in my mind that if SADC and the people of Zimbabwe are able to implement the recommendations of the facilitator and are able to stay within the parameters of the broad roadmap, constitution, referendum and elections I think that we can achieve the transformation of the transition to legitimacy,” Biti said.

“With some kind of caution we are pleased with the outcome of the summit,” Biti said.

Outstanding issues in the unity government include the appointment of provincial governors, Attorney General, Reserve Bank governor , removal of targetted sanctions and electoral and media reforms.