SADC Stands by Zimbabwe Report
The full summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) in Sandton last weekend was a setback for Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party.
They had lobbied hard for the summit to rescind a highly critical report of the SADC’s security organ troika in Livingstone, Zambia on March 31.
The Livingstone communiqué, squarely based on a report to the summit by President Jacob Zuma, had severely rebuked Zanu-PF (though not by name) for being slow in implementing its commitments to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) which underpins the unity government, and for violence, arrests and intimidation of the MDC.
Though the Sandton summit only “noted” rather than “adopted” the Livingstone communiqué, this was apparently to save a little face for Mugabe. SADC executive secretary Dr Tomaz Salomão made it clear afterwards that the Sandton summit had not deleted a word from the Livingstone communiqué.
And Zuma’s report to the Sandton summit, though more conciliatory than the Livingstone report, also reiterated that “there must be an immediate end of violence, intimidation, hate speech, harassment and any other form of action that contradicts the letter and spirit of the GPA”.
Reports do show some progress, but also indicate that elections – which Zanu-PF wants this year – are still much further off as the conditions for holding them are far from conducive.