Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has called for parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to implement the agreement and issues recommended by Sadc, and stop wasting time arguing over semantics and about whose victory the summit outcome was.
Speaking during a question-and-answer session in Parliament on Wednesday, Mutambara, who did not attend the highly-charged Sadc meeting last Sunday, opting to bury national hero Edgar Tekere, said the people of Zimbabwe, and not a single political party, had won at the summit.
“This means the political parties in this country should not try to score points against each other over the summit. There was no loser, no winner in Sadc in terms of political parties. This means the Sadc Summit was a victory for the people of Zimbabwe. No defeated party and no victorious party, but just a victorious nation,” he said.
“. . . We had a good outcome. The outcome from the Sadc Summit is good for the country. Let us not score points against each other. Let us implement the GPA completely. Let us work on the timelines for the roadmap. Let us make sure we embrace recommendations on Jomic and create conditions in our country for free and fair elections.”
Mutambara said Zimbabweans should not be reduced to a nation that debates the differences between the words “noted” or “endorsed”.
He called on Zimbabweans to work together to find solutions to issues bedevilling the country rather than relying on foreigners.
“We cannot out-source the management of our country to (King) Mswati and (President Jacob) Zuma. We have the capacity in this country to run our affairs. While we are grateful to Sadc and South Africa, I want to appeal to all of us to say let us find each other.”
Mutambara took time to explain his absence from the summit, insisting he made a choice to come for Tekere’s burial although there was speculation he left the summit unceremoniously.
“There was a plan and a possibility for the Zimbabwean delegations to go to South Africa, attend the summit and come back to bury Edgar Tekere on Sunday . . . Unfortunately, because the summit was delayed from 1400 hours on Saturday 11th June to Sunday 12th June 2011 evening, it was not possible for the delegation to come back to Zimbabwe and bury Edgar Tekere,” he said.
“That is when yours truly, Mutambara, made a decision that our colleagues would continue to negotiate and do justice to our country, but Mutambara would come back to bury Edgar Tekere.
“This must be understood by these busybodies in the media. That it was a deliberate decision by the Deputy Prime Minister to be present at the burial of the hero of heroes, Edgar Tekere. That is why I was present in the country.”