NQABA MATSHAZI AND PATRICE MAKOVA
THE just-ended Sadc summit in Maputo, Mozambique has urged Zimbabwe’s warring parties to complete the constitution-making process and put it to a referendum in order to allow for free and fair elections to be held.
But analysts and civil society organisations have dismissed the summit as a disappointment as it failed to come up with concrete mechanisms to enforce the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and all the other outstanding issues, including an agreed election roadmap.
The summit reiterated that the facilitator, South African President Jacob Zuma should have a hands-on approach in dealing with the impasse stalling progress in the implementation of the GPA.
The latest stalemate is on the draft constitution, which Zanu PF wants renegotiated, yet the two MDCs say it should not be changed and should be taken to the all-stakeholders’ conference as it is.
“If there are any difficulties with regard to the constitution and implementation of agreements, the facilitator is called upon to engage with the parties and assist them resolve such issues, bearing in mind the timeframes and the necessity to hold free and fair elections,” reads a communiqué issued after the summit.
The resolutions were adopted from recommendations by the Sadc troika which met on Friday.
Sadc, in Angola two months ago, asked Zuma to be more involved in the negotiation, but the three parties, Zanu PF, MDC and MDC-T, failed to find common ground, delaying the South African president’s visit to Zimbabwe.
Regional leaders commended the progress that leaders had made on the constitution, saying this should be followed by an agreed road-map on elections.
“(Sadc) commends the parties for the efforts they have put into developing the constitution and urges them to spare no effort in ensuring that they put before the people of Zimbabwe at the referendum, a constitution whose main focus is the interests of the nation as a whole,” the communiqué continued.
“(Sadc) urges the parties to the GPA to develop a roadmap together with timelines that are guided by requirements of the processes necessary for the adoption of the constitution of conditions for free and fair elections to be held.”
Zanu PF wanted elections held this year, but the party has toned down its rhetoric after Sadc insisted that all provisions of the GPA be met.
The regional body also urged the parties to establish a mechanism in cabinet that would ensure the coordination and implementation of outstanding issues and that Zuma should be kept informed on any developments.
Sadc also encouraged the strengthening of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic).
Three technical people were seconded by Sadc to Jomic, but they are yet to be accredited to work in Zimbabwe.
Sources who attended the summit said Mugabe was happy with the outcome as Sadc did not lash out at him for being responsible for the lack of progress in the implementation of the GPA, unlike at the previous meetings.
They said Mugabe promised to soon summon other principals for a meeting to discuss the issue of elections and his party’s position on the proposed draft constitution.
“The only minor setback for him (Mugabe) is that Mutambara is no longer a principal and this may leave him outnumbered when it comes to meetings of principals,” said the source.
But Political analyst, Dewa Mavhinga said again Sadc has failed to effectively resolve the crisis in the country.
“Sadc has not moved beyond mere encouragement of Zimbabwe political parties to fully implement the GPA to look at possible enforcement mechanisms of Sadc resolutions that have repeatedly been ignored, particularly by Mugabe and Zanu PF,” he said.
SADC CONFIRMS NCUBE AS MDC LEADER
The last resolution confirms MDC’s Welshman Ncube as the third principal in the country in addition to President Robert Mugabe of Zanu PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of MDC-T.
MDC Secretary-General Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga said the decision finally put to rest the question of the leadership of the MDC within the context of Sadc.
She said the resolution meant that Zuma as the facilitator and the Troika would no longer have to deal with Mutambara.
“It also means Mutambara will never again be invited or allowed to attend any Sadc meetings on his own unless he attends as part of the Zanu PF considering that President Mugabe’s spirited but ultimately failed defence of the position of Mutambara as a Principal,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “The Summit would have none of it.”
Mutambara reportedly attacked Zuma during the Troika meeting, accusing him of sidelining him when the facilitator visited Harare on Wednesday, seeking a progress report on political developments in the country.