BY BLESSED MHLANGA/ Rutendo Matanhike
A DIPLOMATIC offensive by the Nelson Chamisa-led MDC within the Sadc region appears to be hitting a brick wall as the bloc has indicated that there are no issues threatening security and politics in Zimbabwe to warrant putting the country on the agenda of the August summit in Tanzania.
Sadc executive secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax, currently in the country ahead of the summit, said she was not aware of any issues in Zimbabwe or raised by the opposition MDC to warrant putting the country on the agenda of the August 17-19 summit.
“What are the issues? Why are they pushing for a country to be put on the agenda? We have procedures and don’t put a member state of Sadc on the agenda because
we have been pushed to do that,” Tax said.
“There are issues we have to consider and I have never received anything from the opposition. Sadc has also not received anything from the opposition, so I
cannot discuss something which I have not seen.”
Chamisa has vowed to pile pressure on Sadc, the African Union and the international community to force President Emmerson Mnangagwa to the negotiating table
with the MDC to resolve the country’s escalating economic crisis.
The youthful opposition leader argues that Mnangagwa is an illegitimate leader who stole the July 30, 2018 general elections from him and should, therefore,
step down and allow for fresh elections before completing his fire-year term, which ends in 2023.
Sadc has, however, endorsed Mnangagwa’s victory and will be handing him the rotating chairmanship of the organ on politics, peace and security in August.
“I am very happy to be here in Harare to brief the President of Zimbabwe, as you are all aware that he is our incoming chairperson of the organ on politics,
peace and security and that he will be taking over in August 2019,” Tax said.
“That being the case, he is expected to guide the region in terms of politics, peace and security issues. We had a very fruitful meeting and we have touched on
a number of issues, for instance, the obligation of Zimbabwe as the incoming chairperson of the organ, the responsibilities and issues to be followed up.”
MDC deputy spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said it was an anomaly that Zimbabwe could be allowed to chair an organ of the regional bloc given that the country
was slipping into a state of anarchy because of the economic meltdown and disputed election results.
“It is an anomaly that Zimbabwe should be chairing anything at the moment given the insecurity in the country, because of the economic instability,”
“Peace and security is threatened and the country can implode at any moment, yet Sadc says Zimbabwe should chair an organ on peace and security. Instead, they
should be a subject of discussion.”
The MDC said it was time that the Sadc leadership took seriously the unfolding crisis facing the country and act before it implodes, but government has warned it would ruthlessly crush any attempt to destabilise peace and security in the country.