Thursday, June 07, 2012
This article was written by Our reporter on 5 June, at 05 : 21 AM
THE recent extraordinary Sadc summit tasked facilitator to the Global Political Agreement, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, to urgently visit Zimbabwe and meet GPA principals to resolve their differences. The resolutions of these differences should be done within a timeframe so that the country proceeds to conduct elections.
Zanu-PF insists the harmonised elections should be held this year, while the MDC factions want them next year. All the parties in the inclusive Government told Sadc leaders during the Angola summit last week that they were ready for elections.
MDC factions and some internet media organisations, however, are being accused of deliberately confusing Zimbabweans on the outcome of the summit, saying the summit supported the idea of having elections next year, rather than this year.
Online media, including reputable western organisations last week reported that Sadc had blocked Zanu-PF’s move to push for elections this year.
The communique of the Extraordinary Sadc summit did not mention elections, but ‘full implementation’ of the GPA. The date for elections, according to the Zimbabwean constitution, is announced by the President.
SW Radio, a pirate radio station, incorrectly reported that Sadc was blocking the elections, although the communique was clear on the issue.
Full text: Sadc communique, 1 June 2012
SW Radio did not understand that any Sadc troika decisions have to be endorsed by the full summit.
It quoted MDC-T leader and prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s spokesman, Jameson Timba, who had tweeted that “two crunch SADC meetings will decide the fate of Zimbabwe’s transition to democracy today (Friday).”
“History is on the right side,” Timba had added.
SW Radio further commented: “A full SADC summit is set to endorse the Troika findings when they get a briefing from South African President, Jacob Zuma, who chairs the tripartite grouping. That summit got underway Friday afternoon.”
A full Sadc extraordinary summit, however, did not endorse that position.
Presidential spokesperson George Charamba yesterday said the summit made it clear to all parties that time was not on their side as the GPA was coming to “a close.”
The term of the current Parliament ends in March next year.
“The summit asked the facilitator and South African President Mr Jacob Zuma to come to Zimbabwe to urgently discuss with the principals to the GPA with a view to dealing with whatever issues the parties might have.
“Given the urgency of the matter, we expect the South African President in the country next week or in the next two weeks,” said Charamba.
He said the South African president and the principals were expected to explore how problem areas could be resolved within a timeframe.
Charamba said it was only after that meeting that the principals could discuss an election roadmap.
“It is entirely up to the Zimbabweans as parties to the Global Political Agreement to decide on the appropriate time for the elections.
“In the meantime, the parties to the GPA within and amongst themselves should agree on ways of tackling areas of differences,” he said.
Charamba said the summit agreed that all parties to the GPA should commit themselves to the resolution of all issues agreed to in the GPA, including Constitution-making.
“Note that the summit is not talking about a new Constitution. It is talking about concluding the Constitution-making process.
“The summit could not predetermine or foreclose the outcome of the Constitution. There are two possibilities of the outcome of the Constitution-making process, which are the rejection of the draft or its acceptance.
“There is a difference between concluding the Constitution-making process and agreeing on a new Constitution.
“You can conclude the Constitution-making process by way of a deadlock. We should never consider conclusion as having a new Constitution. During the referendum, a ‘yes’ might not follow,” he said.
Charamba said all parties in the inclusive Government, save for Professor Arthur Mutambara who tried to be academic, agreed that there was need to hold elections as soon as possible.
He said President Mugabe made it clear that there were some issues already in the draft Constitution, among them dual citizenship that Zanu-PF was not going to shift its stance.
Charamba added that the MDC-T was confusing the people on the outcome of the summit because they do not understand how the regional organisation functions.
“The confusion around the outcome of the summit came from individuals who do not seem to know the difference between debates within the troika and the actual recommendations of the troika and the decisions of the summit.
“The summit then makes the final decision. What matters are the recommendations of the troika to the summit, which ultimately build the decision of the summit,” he said.
The Sadc organ on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation that comprises three members reports to the full Sadc summit that passes final resolutions on issues.