Sadc must tighten screws on Mugabe


Recent reports of President Robert Mugabe rubbishing Sadc facilitator to the Zimbabwe crisis, South African President Jacob Zuma, show that relations between the leaders are at an all-time low.

Unfortunately, President Mugabe’s tiff with Zuma is that the SA leader chose to say the truth about what is happening in Zimbabwe, in short the crackdown on dissenting voices and MDC-T politicians and their supporters.

We do not blame President Mugabe because he has been used to having his cake and eating it too for a long time while the country was floundering. This time around Sadc rebuked the 87-year-old leader, much to his chagrin.

While Sadc cannot dictate reforms in Zimbabwe, they have a role to play in our political affairs.

What President Mugabe is failing to appreciate is the 15-nation bloc helped him remain in power,
even after he had lost presidential elections in 2008, in their belief that as one of their peers belonging to a liberation movement like most of them, he would see sense and relinquish power in an honourable manner.

But the President has failed to do the honourable thing, hand over power to 2008 presidential election winner MDC-T leader Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, hence Sadc has decided to crack the whip.

If he decides against engaging his neighbours according to his tirade, will President Mugabe stay a day longer?

His mantra simply means he’s out of touch with reality. We therefore commend the Sadc Troika summit resolutions in Zambia last week for condemning political violence and intimidation instigated by the Zanu PF establishment.

We do not believe that by condemning President Mugabe for the first time in his 31-year rule, Sadc interfered in Zimbabwe’s internal affairs.

We are, however, alarmed by President Mugabe’s statement: “The facilitator is the facilitator and must facilitate dialogue. He (Zuma) cannot prescribe anything. We prescribe what we should do in accordance with our own laws and our agreement. The MDC thinks Sadc or the African Union can prescribe to us how we run our things.”

President Mugabe and Zanu PF should be the last to condemn Zuma because they know what that will mean.

We call on Sadc to maintain their balance and tighten the screws on the Zanu PF leadership over their refusal to implement provisions of the GPA.

There is a limit to Sadc leaders shuttling between Zimbabwe and their countries all for naught.

We have all along viewed Sadc leaders as dishonest brokers since little progress has resulted from their meetings over the last few years.

We have always believed that if they wanted to, Sadc leaders could rein in President Mugabe and Zanu PF.

We hope that by the time Sadc calls an extraordinary session, on a date still to be decided, to discuss the Zimbabwe issue, progress will be made.