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SADC Luanda summit ends with no Zim solutions

SW Radio Africa news - The Independent Voice of Zimbabwe

SADC Luanda summit ends with no Zim solutions

By Tererai Karimakwenda
18 August, 2011

The 31st SADC summit in Angola ended early on Thursday, amid fears by Zimbabwean civic groups that democracy in the region is under threat and elections would be held before any reforms are made.
It had been hoped regional leaders would address the critical situations in several member states, particularly Zimbabwe and Madagascar, but a statement issued after the closed door session of the Heads of State, only said the meeting had “gone well”. No other details were revealed.
Zimbabwean civic groups in Luanda strongly criticized resolutions that were made by the SADC Organ Troika on Tuesday, which “noted progress” made by the Zim political parties negotiating an electoral roadmap. The Troika deals with regional security issues and reports to the SADC Heads of State.
The civic leaders said there is no progress when ZANU PF is resisting change and the harassment of activists and MDC officials continues. This view was supported by over 200 civic groups who attended the NGO Expo in Harare on Wednesday.
Political commentator Professor John Makumbe, who was a guest speaker at the expo, said the participants were “disappointed” by the Troika’s report of progress while many issues in the GPA have still not been resolved.
“Regional leaders have mediated the stalemate in Zimbabwe for years now, to no avail. SADC should now face the fact that they have failed to produce credible elections and we must now look to ourselves to be the movers and shakers,” Makumbe told SW Radio Africa on Thursday.
Blessing Vava from the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) agreed. Speaking on the Crisis Analysis programme, Vava said: “It is high time we organized as Zimbabweans and clearly map out peaceful alternatives to dislodge the Mugabe regime.”

Vava explained that Robert Mugabe is the only remaining leader who was around when SADC was formed, making it “very difficult” for the others to challenge him.
The Troika consists of President Amanda Guebuza of Mozambique, South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and Zambia’s President Rupiah Banda, who relinquished the SADC chairmanship to Angola’s President Dos Santos this week.
President Zuma assumed the Troika chairmanship and remains facilitator on the Zim crisis. President Banda was represented by his vice-president due to election campaigns in Zambia. 
Meanwhile, the civics position that no progress has been made was reinforced by the Mass Public Opinion Institute (MPOI), who reported they had suspended polling activities in Zimbabwe due to the volatile political situation in many communities. 

MPOI chief researcher Stephen Ndoma confirmed reports that their teams were experiencing serious difficulties that made it too risky and almost impossible to conduct credible research activities.

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