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Sadc fails to deal with Zimbabwe

SADC has failed to effectively deal with the Zimbabwe political logjam because the bloc’s conflict resolution mechanism depends on heads of state and government and ministerial committees which are perpetually committed to their own domestic issues.

Report by Brian Chitemba

According to the International Crisis Group (ICG) report titled Implementing Peace and Security Architecture (II) Southern Africa, the regional bloc’s intervention in Zimbabwe’s political crisis exposed its limited capacity to enforce agreements it helps broker.

Sadc brokered the September 15 2008 Global Political Agreement (GPA) to end Zimbabwe’s political and economic turmoil which had rocked the country since 2000.

“Sadc has limited capacity to monitor, evaluate and ensure implementation of agreements that it helps broker, and has no sanction mechanism for violation of the deals,” reads the report.

Sadc’s mediation efforts in the Zimbabwe and Madagascar conflicts, the ICG said, reveal the complexities of dealing with unconstitutional changes in government, contested elections and violations of the region’s electoral code.

The ICG criticised Sadc’s mediation processes, saying they lack resources and relies on the means and actions of mediators, rather than on a regional autonomous capacity while the regional body’s response to conflict situations remains slow.

South African President Jacob Zuma’s mediation role in the Zimbabwe crisis has failed to address risks posed by the security sector given the evolving role the defence forces play in local politics.

The ICG said despite slow progress around the drafting of the much-delayed constitution, security concerns are exacerbated by destabilising political statements from senior army officials and widespread impunity for past and current violations.

Last week Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa hinted that the military would stage a coup if MDC-T leader and coalition government partner Morgan Tsvangirai wins the polls.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo has warned of a bloodbath if Tsvangirai wins. The military is currently campaigning for Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF.

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