Sadc insists on reforms

SADC has insisted that the Global Political Agreement (GPA) should be fully implemented before Zimbabwe can hold polls as the regional bloc would not allow the country to go for elections when conditions are not conducive.

Report by Owen Gagare

The body, guarantor of the GPA that gave birth to Zimbabwe’s inclusive government, is also trying to resolve President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s fallout with MDC leader Welshman Ncube.

Sadc is adamant on playing a role in monitoring the GPA through the facilitation team and representatives of the Sadc troika on Politics, Defence and Security in the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic), which Zanu PF is strongly resisting.

South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team comprising Charles Nqakula, Lindiwe Zulu and ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, this week met Jomic co-chairs Nicholas Goche (Zanu PF), Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC) and Elton Mangoma (MDC-T) on Wednesday to discuss Zanu PF’s refusal to allow Sadc representatives to sit in full Jomic meetings.

Mavimbela and Nqakula later met Ncube to discuss his grievances with Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

The meeting followed a letter written by Ncube on March 28 to the chairman of the Sadc troika, Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete and copied to Zuma, in which he expressed his displeasure at being excluded from principals’ meetings where key political issues are discussed in contravention of the Sadc Maputo resolution of August 18 2012.

The resolution directed Mugabe and Tsvangirai to include the MDC leader at all principals’ meetings instead of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

Zulu, who is also Zuma’s international relations advisor, refused to divulge details of the Jomic discussions but said Ncube’s grievances would be discussed with Zuma.

Mangoma however revealed that the Jomic meeting had resolved the Sadc team would be attending its co-chairs’ meetings.

“What still has to be resolved is them joining the full Jomic meetings,” said Mangoma. “As you know, the MDCs have no problem with that but Zanu PF has been resisting. We agreed that the facilitation team should come back on the 30th of this month to meet negotiators and resolve the issue,” Mangoma said.

In his meeting with the facilitation team, Ncube also raised concerns that Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara had unilaterally appointed Justice minister Patrick Chinamasa and Constitutional Affairs minister, Eric Matinenga, to write an election roadmap without consulting him.

Ncube also complained that Mugabe and Tsvangirai were also disregarding the Sadc-backed elections roadmap crafted by negotiators.

Zulu said although GPA parties were free to discuss issues around the election roadmap, Sadc would only agree to a roadmap which does not violate the GPA and Sadc resolutions while ensuring that polls are held in a free and fair environment.

She said Sadc was keen to ensure Zimbabwe does not hold election ssimilar to the violent 2008 presidential poll run-off widely condemned as a sham.