Sadc leaders thwart Zanu PF machinations

President Robert Mugabe and Zanu PF’s political strategy is in jeopardy after the just-ended 31st Sadc summit in Angola thwarted attempts by the former ruling party to organise a snap election outside an agreed road map.

Sadc leaders ruled last week Zimbabwe can only hold an election after parties to the Global Political Agreement (GPA) fully implement a roadmap that would guarantee a free and fair poll.

Analysts and observers yesterday said Zanu PF was unlikely to win a free and fair poll, adding the party was currently weakened because of little regional support and internal squabbles stoked by the tussle among its leaders to succeed President Mugabe (87).

At the same time facilitator South Africa President Jacob Zuma, whose role was reaffirmed at the regional summit despite Zanu PF’s resistance, appears to have taken a tougher stance on Zimbabwe.

He took over as chairperson of the Sadc Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
President Mugabe and his lieutenants in Zanu PF were pushing for an early election, arguing the inclusive government was not functioning properly due to policy differences.

Yesterday, Zanu PF spokesperson Rugare Gumbo said President Mugabe had always advocated for the full and faster implementation of the GPA.

“We have always said we want a constitution, a referendum and so on. There is nothing contradictory from the Sadc statement,” he said.
Political scientist John Makumbe said Zanu PF was in disarray and had run out of strategies to counter the ongoing Sadc–led reform processes which would result in a free and fair poll.

“They have now run out of strategies,” Makumbe said. “Their demise is a free and fair election being held.”

Another political commentator Hopewell Gumbo said: “Zanu PF will continue to make noise about early elections as hardliners hope to force things through, but it is a bit weakened at the moment with little regional support and its internal squabbles are a factor too.”

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