Polls roadmap: Sadc stays the course

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WHILE the two MDC formations in the inclusive government appear to have all but given up on pushing for political reforms before the next elections, Sadc leaders remain determined to ensure the poll roadmap is fully implemented to ensure credible polls.

Report by Wongai Zhangazha

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and MDC leader Welshman Ncube have lately been conspicuous by their silence on the reform agenda while regional leaders have been increasingly active in pushing for full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and election roadmap.

Sadc-appointed facilitator South African President Jacob Zuma, for the second time in as many weeks, dispatched his facilitation team to Harare to check on the state of the country’s preparedness for elections and progress on the full implementation of the GPA.

On Wednesday Zuma’s facilitators Mac Maharaj, Lindiwe Zulu and Charles Nqakula met with the full Jomic team but the meeting collapsed due to fights between Zanu PF and MDC parties..

According to sources, Jomic was expected to present the facilitators with reports detailing its work since the body was formed.

Two officials from Tanzania and Zambia seconded to Jomic to strengthen it were also introduced to the full Jomic team.

“It was mentioned in the meeting that Namibia was expected to send a representative soon to join the two other representatives. Jomic meetings with the facilitation team collapsed due to disagreements between Zanu PF and MDC parties,” said a source.

The officials were supposed to join Jomic last year, but disagreements over their terms of reference by the political parties delayed their deployment. Zanu PF wanted their terms of reference clarified to ensure they would not interfere with the country’s “sovereignty”.

Zuma presented a report to the Sadc Troika of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation early this month where he suggested several recommendations to expedite the implementation of outstanding GPA issues.

He recommended that all outstanding issues be attended to urgently, emphasising “it is extremely urgent that all matters agreed upon in terms of the GPA are implemented speedily”.

Zuma recommended that Jomic be activated as a matter of priority.
“The facilitation team supplemented by the representatives of Tanzania and Zambia must be enabled to participate actively in Jomic.

Namibia, as the incoming chair of the Troika, should be included.

Without the above two points, it will be difficult to ensure that there is no intimidation and that violence is not allowed to escalate, if and when it occurs,” Zuma’s report reads.

Zuma also recommended the cleaning up of the voters roll arguing that it would make the election roadmap realistic. He called for a resolution of the differences between the parties regarding the role of observers, using as baseline local laws and the Sadc Protocol.

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