Zuma wants Sadc team in Zim ahead of polls

HARARE - South African President Jacob Zuma wants a Sadc team to be stationed in Zimbabwe as Harare heads for make-or-break elections expected as early as July.

In a report to the Sadc Troika on politics, defence and security cooperation meeting attended by Zimbabwean government leaders early this month, Zuma said Sadc needs to be more robust and to “be based in that country to make follow-ups and deal with issues as they arise”.

“Differences over the role of observers need to be resolved and the Sadc guidelines as well as the laws of Zimbabwe should be the baseline,” said Zuma.

“Observers should be on site well before the elections and for some period thereafter.”

He called for full implementation of the power-sharing pact widely known as the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

“It is extremely urgent that all matters agreed upon in terms of the GPA are implemented speedily so that adequate preparations are made for a level playing field for the forthcoming elections,” Zuma’s report reads.

“Without the above steps, it will be difficult to envisage elections taking place under conditions that are free and fair,” reads the report.

The South African leader, who has at times come under attack from Zanu PF hawks for tough mediation, was appointed by Sadc as its point man.

At a time when military commanders’ penchant for interference in political affairs is high, Zuma torched a raw nerve that could earn him brick-bats from Mugabe’s Zanu PF.

“Security sector realignment cannot be postponed any longer,” Zuma said in the report.

“In this regard, Jomic (the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee) needs to be activated as a matter of priority. The facilitation team supplemented by representatives of Tanzania and Zambia must be enabled to participate actively in Jomic. Namibia as a member and incoming chair of the Troika should now be included.

“Without the above two key points (security sector and Jomic activation) it will be difficult to ensure there is no intimidation and that violence is not allowed to escalate if and when it occurs,” he said.

Zuma’s report also highlighted the need to clean the voter’s roll.

With the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission announcing referendum results showing huge support for the draft constitution, Zuma said Zimbabwe should craft a clear poll roadmap within a month of the referendum.

Comments (1)

Mugabe may have taken four years to “dictate” this Copac constitution because it suited him to drag out the drafting process but when it suits him to accelerate anything, he does. The referendum was done and dusted in four weeks without even bothering to get the constitution to the electorate. Now that the constitution has been approved, Mugabe will move swiftly to have it enacted so that the GPA can be buried and all calls to implement reforms buried with it! It is naïve to even think Mugabe will brook implementing reforms now that the new constitution has just been approved. MDC should have had the reforms implemented first before getting the new constitution approved; Tsvangirai was warned but would not listen! President Zuma is just wasting his breath, no reforms will be implemented now.

W Mukori - 20 March 2013

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.