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a club of self-serving individuals
Elias Mambo, NewsDay
August 21, 2013
33rd Sadc summit for heads of state and government in Lilongwe,
Malawi, has once again
proved the regional grouping has been reduced to a club which aims
to protect each other’s legacies at the expense of solving
problems bedevelling the bloc.
heads of states have been meeting throughout the year, producing
communique after communique and coming up with so many resolutions
aimed at ending crisises in the region’s troubled spots like
Zimbabwe, Madagascar and the DRC - yet delivered little.
the Angola summit in June 2012 promised so much in solving long
running political crises yet a communiqué released at the
end did not reflect much progress.
summit only re-affirmed its decision of the (June) extraordinary
summit urging Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister
Morgan Tsvangirai to expedite the implementation of reforms, but
did not discuss ways of ending a dispute over the timing of fresh
starters, elections came and went in Zimbabwe, with Mugabe controversially
winning amid outcries of election rigging and the outside hand of
an Israeli security company, Nikuv, being blamed for tampering
with the voters’ roll to give Mugabe an outright win of
described the Luanda summit as a make-or-break meeting, especially
for Zimbabwe after much promise from South African President Jacob
Zuma’s mediation efforts, were left baffled by this weekend’s
events where Sadc went on to reward Mugabe with a deputy chairperson’s
across the Southern Africa region who were detained in Lilongwe
ahead of the summit criticised the regional body saying it was not
yet ready to tackle the region’s problems.
a Malawian political analyst, said the just-ended Sadc summit proved
the regional group has been turned into a club of African leaders.
has proved African leaders in the region have turned this grouping
into a club where they seek to protect each other’s legacies
at the expense of the people,” Chimwe said.
all the irregularities that characterised Zimbabwe’s election,
this bunch of leaders goes on to reward Mugabe for stealing an election.
We are headed for more disaster as whoever steals an election will
be protected as long as he is a bona fide member of the club.”
of Zimbabwe’s disputed election has also been described as
an icing on the cake of chaos that awaits the regional bloc.
now sure that Africa has been thrown back into those times of the
late Malawian leader Kamuzu Banda who could commit gross human rights
abuses with the blessings of other African leaders,” Chimwe
his vice-president, outgoing Deputy Prime Minister Thokozani Khupe,
to meet with Sadc leaders and furnish them with rigging evidence
and to ask Sadc not to endorse the election, and seek a rerun. In
an interview with NewsDay, Khupe said she met with Malawian president
and new Sadc chairperson Joyce Banda who said the matter would be
our position to the incoming Sadc chairperson Malawian President
Joyce Banda who assured me that the matter would be dealt with and
a lasting solution would be found during the summit,” Khupe
much was said on Zimbabwe since all the heads of states fell over
each other to congratulate Mugabe for holding “peaceful and
free elections” with Banda going further to congratulate Zanu-PF
for winning resoundingly.
said the issue of Zimbabwe did not take more than 10 minutes during
the closed door sessions since everyone was satisfied.
it was president after president showering praises on Mugabe for
holding an election peacefully,” said the source.
After many years
of grilling and humiliation at Sadc heads of state and government
meetings for systematic human rights abuses and undemocratic practices
that threatened regional stability, the summit awarded Mugabe with
legitimacy despite the polls being marred by irregularities.
political analyst Rueben Chela said the behaviour of the Sadc region
leaders had brought back the time when an African leader could afford
to kill his people without anyone questioning.
back to that time when a stolen election in an African state, with
a few hundred dead, would hardly raise eyebrows let alone be condemned
by leaders of neighbouring countries,” Chela said.
days of Zaire’s Mobutu Sese Seko and Uganda’s Idi Amin,
mass murder was more the rule than the exception; so it was in Rwanda
and, more recently, in Congo and Sudan. Throughout it all, most
African leaders kept carefully quiet, loathing to publicly criticise
their colleagues, so is the case now with Zimbabwe,” he said.
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