Sadc has no time for non-is­sues

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

OP­PO­SI­TION par­ties in our coun­try and their civil so­ci­ety run­ners clearly over­es­ti­mate them­selves and their agenda. They view them­selves as fight­ing for the sec­ond in­de­pen­dence of this coun­try, for uni­ver­sal val­ues that Zim­bab­weans have never en­joyed over the past 16 years or so. There­fore, the op­po­si­tion lead­ers reckon in their shal­low minds, ev­ery­one must have time to lis­ten to them and agree with them, from the grass­roots right up to the more dig­ni­fied Sadc and African Union sum­mits.

In late July, a few un­elected peo­ple made noises about some­thing they named a “na­tional tran­si­tion author­ity,” which they said must take over the run­ning of the coun­try from a Zanu-PF ad­min­is­tra­tion that was elected on a roar­ing land­slide in July 2013.

Well known op­po­si­tion ac­tivists, among them Dr Ibbo Man­daza and Mr Tony Reeler, are at the fore­front of call­ing for the “na­tional tran­si­tion author­ity”. They made the an­nounce­ment as an­other shame­lessly pro-op­po­si­tion out­fit, the so-called “Elders” com­pris­ing Mr Kofi An­nan, Bishop Des­mond Tutu and Mrs Graca Machel de­manded the same. All this comes in the broader con­text of demon­stra­tions be­ing called and staged by the op­po­si­tion to force il­le­gal regime change in the coun­try.

This week, the op­po­si­tion po­lit­i­cal par­ties tried to pull off what ev­ery sen­si­ble per­son knew was an im­pos­si­bil­ity to have Zim­babwe on the agenda of the 36th Sadc Sum­mit that was held in Swazi­land this week.

Mr Mor­gan Ts­van­gi­rai’s MDC-T, Dr Joice Mu­juru’s Zim­babwe Peo­ple First and other po­lit­i­cal par­ties un­der the ban­ner Na­tional Elec­toral Re­forms Agenda wanted re­gional lead­ers to dis­cuss cases of vi­o­lence that the op­po­si­tion lead­ers them­selves are ac­tu­ally pro­vok­ing and per­pe­trat­ing, par­tic­u­larly in Harare in re­cent weeks.

They were ig­nored as Sadc lead­ers con­cen­trated on more sub­stan­tive is­sues af­fect­ing the re­gion, not non-is­sues raised by peo­ple seek­ing rel­e­vance.

“The agenda of Sadc is for­mu­lated by the (Sadc) chair in con­sul­ta­tion with the sec­re­tar­iat,” said Am­bas­sador Joey Bimba, the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary in the Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs.

“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. 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.”

A Sadc Sum­mit that had no time to of­fi­cially dis­cuss the un­fold­ing armed con­flict in Mozam­bique that had killed 307 peo­ple by May since hos­til­i­ties flared up in 2013, and has re­sulted in the dis­place­ment of up to 15 000 refugees, most of whom have fled to Malawi and a few hun­dreds to Man­i­ca­land, was ex­pected to have an agenda item on the pre­vail­ing sit­u­a­tion in Zim­babwe.

A Sadc Sum­mit that only called for peace in post-elec­tion Zam­bia was, some­how, ex­pected to have time to dis­cuss is­sues raised by a band of spent forces seek­ing to re­claim their rel­e­vance of old and op­po­si­tion up­starts that didn’t learn any­thing from their long ser­vice in Zanu-PF and the Gov­ern­ment.

Far from the noises made by Mr Ts­van­gi­rai and Dr Mu­juru, the lead­ers tack­led re­ally press­ing mat­ters for their re­gion HIV and Aids, the re­gional drought that has af­fected 40 mil­lion Sadc cit­i­zens, women em­pow­er­ment and the in­sta­bil­ity in Le­sotho.

There is ab­so­lutely no ba­sis for us to even com­mend Sadc for ig­nor­ing the cheap at­ten­tion seek­ers from Harare be­cause there was no chance in the first place that their over­tures were go­ing to be of­fi­cially dis­cussed at the sum­mit.

Hav­ing said this, we are un­happy with the op­po­si­tion ac­tiv­i­ties that seek to put the name of the coun­try and its peo­ple into dis­re­pute.

The dis­rup­tive be­hav­iour that they want to pro­mote in the coun­try does not solve the eco­nomic chal­lenges we are fac­ing. It cer­tainly can­not un­seat a Gov­ern­ment that has a re­sound­ing man­date that Zanu-PF has. The Gov­ern­ment can­not sit back and watch as the op­po­si­tion at­tempts to use un­con­sti­tu­tional means to un­seat it. It will ob­vi­ously de­fend the con­sti­tu­tion.

What the op­po­si­tion needs to do, if they are se­ri­ous, is to sell their ideas in an or­derly fash­ion to the elec­torate, pit­ting them against those of the rul­ing party. The peo­ple al­ways no­tice those that have a com­pelling mes­sage and they vote for such peo­ple. Not those caus­ing may­hem on streets or churn­ing in­con­se­quen­tial so­cial me­dia di­a­tribe. Not those ap­proach­ing au­gust gath­er­ings like Sadc sum­mits with mat­ters of nui­sance value.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.