Thursday, September 05, 2013

(TALKZIMBABWE) Zimbabwe no longer on Sadc agenda
This article was written by Our reporter on 9 August, at 00 : 24 AM

ZIMBABWE has been struck off the Sadc agenda after successfully holding the just-ended harmonised elections in conformity with the bloc’s principles and guidelines governing the conduct of democratic polls, Sadc chairperson and Mozambican President Armando Emilio Guebuza has said.

In his congratulatory message to President Mugabe and Zanu-PF on the occasion of their resounding victory that sent shockwaves in Western corridors of power, Guebuza said the victory was poised to deliver greater prosperity to Zimbabwe.

“Your victory and that of Zanu-PF in a landslide manner at the 31st July 2013 harmonised and Sadc rules-based elections create the conditions for striking your great country out of the Sadc Agenda, as a stand-alone political item,” he said.

The 33rd Ordinary Summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government is slated for Lilongwe, Malawi, from August 17 to 18 and is expected to be seized with a wide range of regional issues, among them the appointment of a new leadership for the secretariat as executive secretary Dr Tomaz Salamao is coming to the end of his second four-year term.

The summit is also expected to discuss a report of the Ministerial Task Force on Regional Economic Integration, among other things.

Zimbabwe is likely to be mentioned only as per the bloc’s tradition of congratulating member-states that would have held successful elections in between summits.

The highly-subscribed harmonised elections have since been endorsed by the bloc’s chairman Guebuza, Troika chairperson Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania, GPA facilitator Jacob Zuma of South Africa, the 573-member Sadc Election Observer Mission that was led by Bernard Membe who is also foreign affairs minister of Tanzania, as well as the Sadc Parliamentary Forum.

The Sadc Electoral Commissions Forum Observer Mission that was chaired by Advocate Notemba Tjipuena, chair of the Electoral Commission of Nambia, and which comprised of poll commissions from Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Tanzania, Zambia and Zanzibar, also endorsed the elections as free and fair.

The United Nations, African Union, Comesa and the African Caribbean and Pacific countries also endorsed the elections.
Analysts said Zanu-PF’s resounding victory that reaffirmed the faith Zimbabweans vested in the revolution party meant Sadc’s facilitation that began with an extraordinary summit held on March 31 2007 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, had come to its logical conclusion.

The Dar es Salaam extraordinary summit tasked the then South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate between Zanu-PF and the MDC formations in the wake of MDC-T’s “defiance campaign” that led to running battles in Highfield, Harare.

Mbeki’s mediation culminated in the signing of the inter-party political agreement, the GPA that laid the framework of the inclusive Government that assumed office in February 2009 with a brief to foster an environment of political and socio-economic stability in readiness for fresh elections.

This followed the inconclusive March 31 harmonised elections that produced a hung Parliament.

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