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SADC Organ Summit and Communique - Bill Watch 14/2011
Veritas
April 01, 2011

SADC Organ Troika Summit: Livingstone 31st March: Stern Words on Zimbabwe

The Troika Summit of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation met in Livingstone, Zambia, on 31st March to consider the political and security situation in the region, in particular in Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

In Attendance: The Organ Troika Summit was attended by all the three Troika members, the current chairperson of the Troika, Zambian President Banda, the deputy chairperson and the to-be next chairperson, South African President Zuma and the last chairperson, Mozambican President Guebuza, and also by the current SADC chairperson President Pohamba of Namibia. The official communiqué lists as “also in attendance” Zimbabwe President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara and Professor Ncube [so SADC did not “snub” Professor Ncube as the State press reported].

Chairperson’s Opening Speech: President Banda’s opening speech referred to this year’s events in North Africa: “If there is anything that we must learn from the upheavals going on in the northern part of our continent, it is that the legitimate expectations of the citizens of our countries cannot be taken for granted. We must, therefore, continue at the SADC level to consolidate democracy through the establishment of institutions that uphold the tenets of good government, respect for human rights and the rule of law.”

After discussing the Madagascan situation at some length the Summit discussed Zimbabwe. The Summit received the report on the political and security situation from President Zuma as SADC Facilitator for Zimbabwe and, using the strongest words yet to emerge publicly from a SADC meeting about the situation in this country, made the following comments and resolutions:

Extracts on Zimbabwe from the Summit Communiqué

“13. On Zimbabwe, Summit received the report on the political and security situation in the country as presented by the SADC Facilitator H.E. Jacob Zuma, the President of the Republic of South Africa.

14. Summit appreciated the frankness with which the report was presented by the SADC Facilitator and commended him for the work that he has been doing on behalf of SADC.

15. Summit recalled past SADC decisions on the implementation of the GPA and noted with disappointment insufficient progress thereof and expressed its impatience in the delay of the implementation of the GPA.

16. Summit noted with grave concern the polarization of the political environment as characterized by, inter alia, resurgence of violence, arrests and intimidation in Zimbabwe.

17. In view of the above, Summit resolved that:

(a) there must be an immediate end of violence, intimidation, hate speech, harassment, and any other form of action that contradicts the letter and spirit of GPA;

(b) all stakeholders to the GPA should implement all the provisions of the GPA and create a conducive environment for peace, security, and free political activity;

(c) the Inclusive Government in Zimbabwe should complete all the steps necessary for the holding of the election including the finalisation of the constitutional amendment and the referendum;

(d) SADC should assist Zimbabwe to formulate guidelines that will assist in holding an election that will be peaceful, free and fair, in accordance with the SADC Principles and Guidelines Governing Democratic Elections;

(e) the Troika of the Organ shall appoint a team of officials to join the Facilitation Team and work with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) to ensure monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the GPA. The Troika shall develop the Terms of Reference, time frames and provide regular progress report, the first, to be presented during the next SADC Extraordinary Summit. Summit will review progress on the implementation of GPA and take appropriate action.

18. Summit endorsed the report of the SADC Facilitation on Zimbabwe.”

Comments

Additional Troika Involvement: Apart from the stronger than usual language, the really new element emerging from the Summit is captured by paragraph 17(e) of the communiqué - the new team of officials from the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation to beef up monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the GPA.

President Mugabe’s Reaction Speaking the day after the Summit President Mugabe downplayed the Summit outcome, reassuring the ZANU-PF Central Committee that “We will not brook any dictation from any source. We are a sovereign country. Even our neighbours cannot dictate to us. We will resist that. ….. The facilitator is the facilitator and must facilitate dialogue. He cannot prescribe anything. We prescribe what we should do in accordance with our laws and our agreement."

SA Facilitation Team Here Next Week

The ZANU-PF lead negotiator, Patrick Chinamasa, told reporters on returning from the Summit that the roadmap to elections would be completed by the party negotiators on Monday 4th April and the SA facilitation team would be invited to Harare to discuss it on Wednesday.

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