Sadc team to meet security chiefs

A team of South African negotiators facilitating the Zimbabwean political party dialogue aimed at ending the country’s decade-long political crisis are planning to meet with members of the security sector to discuss their future and role in politics.

A spokesperson of the facilitating team told Radio VOP that her team was ready to meet the securocrats to hear their concerns on the political future of the country.

The role of the security sector in the country’s politics is one of the contentious issues that threaten the successful implementation of the GPA and conclusion of a roadmap to the country’s elections.

“Security sector reform is now on the agenda ahead of next elections. The facilitation team has resolved to engage the securocrats directly to present concerns and also to hear their concerns,” said Lindiwe Zulu, President Jacob Zuma’s International Affairs adviser who also acts as the facilitation team’s spokesperson.

The role of the security sector in politics has been one of the major impediments to the completion of a crucial elections roadmap. The MDCs want security chiefs to publicly denounce violence and swear allegiance to the Constitution not political parties.

However Zanu PF has been digging in saying the securocrats should not be put on the discursive agenda of the political parties.

The securocrats have in the past vowed that they would not accept any politician without liberation war credentials to become the President of Zimbabwe.

They have also played a very pronounced role in the country’s politics. Analysts believe if the question of securocrats’ role in politics is not handled conclusively the country will never be guaranteed a smooth transfer of power in the event that another politician not from Zanu PF wins elections. Sadc however appears to be hardening its stance on Zimbabwe since the Organ Troika summit held in Livingstone, Zambia.

Sadc-appointed facilitator Zuma dispatched his envoy Mac Maharaj to Harare yesterday to continue with talks focused on an election roadmap which has to be agreed before a crucial Sadc summit meeting on Zimbabwe scheduled for Namibia next week.

“The spirit of Livingstone (the stern Sadc Troika Resolutions spirit) is very much alive and strong,” said Zulu.

Meanwhile, Zulu told a Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition representative in South Africa on Monday that South Africa did not want Zimbabwe to hold violent elections like those that were held in 2008.

Zulu told Dewa Mavhinga, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition regional information and advocacy coordinator, that Zimbabwe’s next elections must be “totally different”. Mavhinga met Zulu to hear the progress that has been made by the facilitation team on the Zimbabwe crisis.

“I had a meeting with Ambassador Lindiwe Zulu in Pretoria on the sidelines of a Southern African Liaison Office High Level Meeting on the Zimbabwe Roadmap to Elections where we both made presentations. She said tomorrow (Tuesday) one member of the facilitation team will travel to Harare to meet with the principals to push the roadmap issues where there is no agreement,” Mavhinga said.

“Zulu said Zimbabwe will not have elections in 2011 because there is a lot of work to be done in the area of reforms and creating a conducive environment for free and fair elections. The GPA and its full implementation is the basis of the elections roadmap but will take on board various views from all stakeholders and will be informed by 2008 elections experiences.” — RadioVop

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