Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salamao gave an overview of the Zimbabwe political situation, citing general improvement. South African President Jacob Zuma briefed the meeting on his facilitation team visit to Zimbabwe last week, where it met negotiators, who said the three parties were committed to working together.
Zuma said there were a lot of expectations on Sadc to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis.
“Everyone is therefore looking not just on Zimbabwe but to Sadc…We are looking forward to a time when elections will be held without creating other problems,” he said.
Mugabe said he was unhappy that the constitution-making exercise was dragging on and blamed it on the two MDC formations which he accused of stalling the process.
Mugabe said he wanted elections as soon as possible, holding that waiting for the new constitution would be futile because the parties were deadlocked.
He said GPA had “baptised and christened” people who lost elections. He said he had studied law and the arrangement was “unconstitutional” but they had done it for the good of the country. Mugabe said the government was not given a mandate to run for five years.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said government was dysfunctional, noting there was a clique in Zanu PF which wanted to collapse the GNU so that elections are held under the current constitution.
He said Zanu PF was insincere on reforms as evidenced by some ministers’ refusal to implement the GPA and their open support of services chefs who were dabbling in politics.
Tsvangirai also informed the troika that there was a resurgence of violence and that the military was still making threatening remarks. He called for polls to be held after implementation of the roadmap.
MDC-N leader Welshman Ncube said the government was constitutional because the GPA had been incorporated into the constitution.
He said the people had voted for an inclusive government by virtue of none of the parties getting 50% plus 1 and a hung parliament.
The MDC leader said none of the agreed issues in the election roadmap had been implemented although work was in progress on the constitution and a ministerial team was engaging the European Union on sanctions.
He suggested Zuma should visit Zimbabwe urgently and work with the principals on implementing the GPA.
Deputy prime minister Arthur Mutambara said although elections were needed, they should be held after reforms.
He said media, political, security sector and electoral reforms had to be carried out first.
“If you rush into an election you will replace dysfunctionality with illegitimacy.
“Dysfunctionality is better than illegitimacy. You must not allow that. Let us suffer this arrangement and do the reforms, and maybe just maybe we will be able to produce an outcome that no one will contest,” he said.
“I am very embarrassed for continuing to come here. Let us do that what we can in the next 12 months. Our elections must be process driven. Let’s put timeframes. Don’t discuss a date discuss processes, don’t discuss processes but timelines.
Tanzanian prime minister Mizengo Kayanza Peter Pinda insisted on reforms before elections.
“Elections without completing this process will be worse than 2008. This will not be a credit to Sadc,” he said adding that Mugabe must do it for Zimbabweans.
Angolan President José Eduardo dos Santos, who is the Sadc chair, said there was need to speed up the constitution-making exercise. He said the election roadmap and GPA should be implemented before polls.
Zuma promised to travel to Zimbabwe to engage principals. He is expected in Harare next week.
l Meanwhile Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa has warned of an escalation in “war mongering” and exaggerated reports of violence by the MDC formations in the run-up to the next elections.
Chinamasa, one of Zanu PF’s negotiators, said this would be meant to provoke Western intervention as was the case in Libya, leading to the ouster and killing of former ruler Muammar Gaddafi.
Chinamasa last night told an emotionally-charged public seminar organised by Sapes Trust in Harare, running under the theme “After Luanda: Whither Zimbabwe”, that the MDC parties would cause turmoil before the polls. At the seminar negotiators of the three GPA political parties discussed the outcome of the Sadc summit held in Luanda, Angola, last week. Finance Minister Tendai Biti represented MDC-T, while and Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga stood for MDC-N.
Chinamasa said made ominous conclusion to his representation.
“Let me conclude by a prophetic message. I am not a prophet, but what I am going to say is very prophetic. What I see ahead of us is warmongering. I see warmongering. The tendency to provoke incidences, to overblow them and exaggerate, to distort in order to allow a Syria/Libya-type situation in our country,” he said.