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Zim to take centre stage at Sadc

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The political problems bedevilling the inclusive government will take centre stage Thursday at the Sadc Troika’s Politics, Defence and Security Organ meeting to be held in Gaborone, Botswana.

The meeting will be held on the sidelines of the official opening of the Sadc headquarters in the Botswana capital to discuss the political situation in the region, especially Zimbabwe.

Sources last night said the problems besetting Zimbabwe would top the agenda.

The feuding principals are all expected to travel to Botswana. The leaders have failed to agree on the full implementation of the GPA which gave birth to the inclusive government.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara accuse President Robert Mugabe of violating provisions of the agreement.

President Mugabe has remained adamant that his actions are above board. The President and the Prime Minister have not met since October 4 because of the stalemate.

George Charamba, President Mugabe’s spokesperson, yesterday said the Troika would meet on the sidelines of the official opening of the Sadc headquarters.

“There will be a Sadc Troika which will precede the opening of the Sadc headquarters,” he said. “They are taking advantage of the main programme.”

He declined to confirm whether President Mugabe would attend or not, saying doing so could compromise the security of the President.

Luke Tamborinyoka, the Prime Minister’s spokesperson said: “The Sadc Troika will meet in Botswana on Friday (tomorrow)and Zimbabwe will be on the agenda. The Prime Minister will be attending.”

Zambian President Rupiah Banda, who chairs the Troika, will brief other leaders on the Zimbabwe crisis on Saturday.

Last month, Tsvangirai met Banda in Lusaka where he raised his objection to the unilateral appointment of governors and ambassadors by President Mugabe.
Tsvangirai wants Sadc to establish a roadmap for free and fair elections likely to be held next year.

This week, South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team met the three principals to examine problems in implementing the GPA.

Sources said the team was also persuading the Zimbabwean leaders to suspend elections until the political and economic situation stabilised.

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