Sadc ig­nores MDC-T, al­lies bid

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Felex Share Harare Bureau

A BID by op­po­si­tion po­lit­i­cal par­ties and their ap­pendages in the civil so­ci­ety to smug­gle Zim­babwe on the Sadc Sum­mit agenda this week failed dis­mally with an­a­lysts say­ing the op­pos­ing forces had dis­played “steril­ity” on how the re­gional bloc works.

Mr Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai’s MDC-T, Dr Joice Mu­juru’s Zim­babwe Peo­ple First and other po­lit­i­cal par­ties un­der the ban­ner Na­tional Elec­toral Re­forms Agenda (Nera) wanted re­gional lead­ers to dis­cuss mi­nor cases of vi­o­lence that oc­curred in the coun­try last week.

Op­po­si­tion el­e­ments were be­hind the vi­o­lence which saw them loot­ing shops, burn­ing two ve­hi­cles and at­tack­ing in­no­cent peo­ple.

They were sup­ported in their quest to put the coun­try on the agenda by a group call­ing them­selves “Elders” com­pris­ing Mr Kofi An­nan, Bishop Des­mond Tutu and Mrs Graca Machel.

The trio last week wrote to Sadc call­ing on them to “sup­port an in­clu­sive tran­si­tion in Zim­babwe” on the back of vi­o­lent op­po­si­tion demon­stra­tions.

The 36th Sadc Sum­mit of Heads of States and Gov­ern­ment in Swazi­land on Tues­day and Wed­nes­day found the is­sue friv­o­lous and con­cen­trated on their agenda that fo­cused on re­gional in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion.

The Sec­re­tary for For­eign Af­fairs Am­bas­sador Joey Bimha yes­ter­day said the re­gional body fol­lowed pro­ce­dures and would never waste time on items brought ir­ra­tionally.

“The agenda of Sadc is for­mu­lated by the (Sadc) chair in con­sul­ta­tion with the sec­re­tar­iat,” he said.

“It is de­cided well be­fore the sum­mit. Items do not just find them­selves on the agenda. It’s im­pos­si­ble. The agenda will con­sist mostly of the im­ple­men­ta­tion of de­ci­sions that were made by sum­mit.”

Am­bas­sador Bimha added: “Like in this (Swazi­land) case, the sum­mit met and made de­ci­sions and the duty of the ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary be­tween now and the next sum­mit is to see the im­ple­men­ta­tion of those de­ci­sions. A good part of the next sum­mit will be de­voted to see­ing whether those de­ci­sions were im­ple­mented. If there are any new is­sues they are also down and brought by the chair in con­sul­ta­tion with the ex­ec­u­tive sec­re­tary, that is the pro­ce­dure.”

Swazi­land’s King Mswati 111 now chairs the ro­ta­tional Sadc chair­man­ship af­ter tak­ing over from Botswana Pres­i­dent Ian Khama.

Pres­i­dent Mu­gabe, who set the re­gional in­dus­tri­al­i­sa­tion agenda the bloc is now seized with, was chair­per­son be­tween Au­gust 2014 and Au­gust 2015.

Po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Pro­fes­sor She­unesu Mu­pepereki said it was clear op­po­si­tion forces had run out of ideas.

“Their cur­rent ef­forts re­flect steril­ity of ideas on the part of the op­po­si­tion,” he said.

“They have run out of ideas. The op­po­si­tion is ir­rel­e­vant to our cur­rent sit­u­a­tion es­pe­cially in terms of ad­dress­ing mat­ters of the econ­omy. They are sim­ply look­ing for ways to be­come rel­e­vant but what they are do­ing is not in sync with the sit­u­a­tion that we have.

“All Zim­bab­weans should be seized with find­ing best ways of im­prov­ing our econ­omy but if you look at the whole idea that peo­ple go and demon­strate against an elected Gov­ern­ment, it’s a non-starter. When you pro­mote thug­gish be­hav­iour as a po­lit­i­cal process, then you are bound to fail.”

The op­po­si­tion el­e­ments are also an­gling for a buy-in from the African Union and the United Na­tions, plans which an­a­lysts said would be fu­tile again.

Said an­other po­lit­i­cal an­a­lyst Mr Good­wine Mureriwa: “Sadc is a re­gion that is de­void of un­con­sti­tu­tional means of re­mov­ing gov­ern­ments. The real­ity is that Sadc does not con­done vi­o­lence and has never ac­cepted even mil­i­tary coups. South­ern Africa is per­haps the most peace­ful re­gion in Africa.”

“Re­gional coun­tries, es­pe­cially South Africa, have been firm that they do not want to in­ter­fere in Zim­babwe be­cause the coun­try had elec­tions in 2013 and the out­come was con­vinc­ing to all. It was free and fair and Pres­i­dent now has a man­date to rule un­til 2018.”

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