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Tuesday, March 5, 2024

Mutambara, Mugabe humiliated at SADC summit

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Below are brief narratives from the just ended SADC summit in Mozambique in which it is reported that President Robert Mugabe and deputy prime Minister Arthur Mutambara suffered humiliation partly due to Mugabe’s bid to maintain Mutambara on the deputy prime minister post.

Brief by Minister Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga

After 2hrs of debate the full SADC Summit has just adopted the following resolutions on Zimbabwe: 1. SADC reaffirms all previous decisions of the Troika and the SADC Summit on the issue of Zimbabwe.

2. Commends the parties for the efforts they have put in to develop the Constitution and urges them to spare no effort in …
ensuring that they put before the people of Zimbabwe at the referendum a constitution whose main focus is the interests of the nation as a whole.
3. Urges the parties to the GPA to develop a roadmap together with timelines that are guided by requirements of the processes necessary for the adoption of the constitution of conditions for free and fair elections to be held .
4. Urges the parties to establish a mechanism in Cabinet that will ensure coordination and the implementation by the Ministies/departments of those parts of the agreements that talk to their line functions to ensure smooth implementation and SADC, through the Facilitator, must be kept informed of the implantation mechanism; establish the implementation mechanism that was proposed by the Luanda Summit.
5. Urges the parties to immediately strengthen JOMIC, in terms of the Livingstone decision, so that the SADC team can assist, on a regular basis, in the advancement and consolidation of the work of that committee and help create an atmosphere conducive to the establishment of a level political field, leading to a free and fair election.
6. SADC commits itself to assist the parties in everyday possible as the guarantor of the GPA, to reach a position where a credible election enables Zimbabwe to set out on the road to stability and progress.
7. If they are any difficulties with regard to the constitution and implementation of agreements the facilitator is called upon to engage with the parties and assist them resolve such issues, bearing in mind the timeframes and the necessity to hold free and fair elections.
8. The facilitator and the chair of the Troika must engage on the Zimbabwe issues with the three political parties to the GPA through their Presidents and Principals, namely President Robert Mugabe,(ZANU PF), Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC T) and Professor Welshman Ncube (MDC).The last decision finally puts to rest the question of the leadership of the MDC within the context of SADC. It means that not only will the facilitator and the Troika no longer have to deal with Professor Mutambara but also means Mutambara will never again be invited or allowed to attend any SADC meetings on his own unless he attends as part of the ZANU PF considering that President Mugabe’s spirited but ultimately failed defence of the position of Mutambara as a Principal. The Summit would have none of it.

 

Mutambara, Mugabe suffer SADC humiliation.

South African President Jacob Zuma snubbed Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara on a visit to Zimbabwe last Wednesday, insisting that the deposed MDC leader was not a “principal” for the purposes of his engagement with Zimbabwean leaders as SADC’s point man.

Mutambara, who has lost two court cases seeking the nullification of Welshman Ncube’s leadership of the MDC, accused Zuma of “violating Zimbabwe’s laws and constitution”, citing his appeal currently pending in the Supreme Court.

Mutambara, along with Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe, MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Ncube travelled to the SADC summit in Maputo from August 17-18, where Mutambara used the platform to attack Zuma, accusing him of meddling in internal party politics.

Ncube, who is also Zimbabwe’s Industry and Commerce Minister, explains what went down:

TALK of the laws of unintended consequences! Deputy Prime Minister Prof Arthur Mutambara came to the SADC Troika meeting and when given the floor, chose to speak not about the pressing national issues but rather about his own personal case demanding full recognition by SADC as the legitimate leader of the MDC and it’s political Principal in the inclusive government.

This strategic error gave the Troika the opportunity to be seized of the issue which it would otherwise not have had the opportunity to discuss. By the end of the discussion, the Troika had decided that as guarantors of the GPA, SADC could not be dealing with Mutambara since he was not the leader of any of the parties to the GPA.

Consequently, the Troika recommended to the full Summit that from now on, the facilitator and the Troika should no longer have any dealings with Mutambara and that consequently he should not be invited to any Troika or Summit meetings since SADC should only deal with the three political parties to the GPA.

When President Mugabe sought to draw a distinction between party leaders and GPA Principals, the Summit firmly rejected that distinction insisting that Mutambara did not sign the GPA in his personal capacity but in his representative capacity as then leader of the MDC.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, the new Troika chair, was firm and unyielding in maintaining that President Robert Mugabe was wrong in his argument that Mutambara was still a GPA principal when he is no longer the leader of the MDC.

Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba was equally insistent that not only was Mutambara not a GPA Principal, but that the MDC had an unqualified right to recall him from the position of DPM if it so wished and that President Mugabe had no right to foist him on the MDC as its representative in the position of DPM.

President Ian Khama equally maintained that it was self evident that Mutambara had no right to continue participating in SADC processes, and that he also was no longer a Principal.

His Majesty King Mswati III, the Prime Minister of Lesotho Tom Thabane and the representative of the Prime Minister of Mauritius were equally of the same views.

Only president Michael Sata of Zambia argued that the issue of Mutambara was an internal issue which should not concern SADC. By the end of the day, even President Mugabe was forced to concede that on political matters, such as that of the negotiations for a new constitution, he was duty-bound to deal with the MDC leadership as elected at the party congress.

This whole debate would not have taken place had Mutambara not arrogantly raised the issue before the Troika, and SADC would not have de-recognised him had he not put the matter up for decision. The laws of unintended consequences can be very, very harsh!

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