SA SADC meeting fruitful?


SO all the parties in the Global Political Agreement are satisfied with the outcome of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) meeting on Zimbabwe in Johannesburg last week? The major disagreement revolved around the Livingstone Troika meeting and its outcome. There was controversy over that meeting. It is alleged the facilitator made his decisions about the political situation in Zimbabwe based only on the report submitted by the MDC-T where ZANU PF was blamed for all the political violence happening in the country. He did not see the other parties’ reports neither were they given the opportunity to defend themselves. What happened in Johannesburg if everyone is happy about the outcome of the conference? Could it be an indication of the facilitation skills of Jacob Zuma to leave everyone singing his praises? Let us not get bogged down with the meaning of the terms ‘noted’ and ‘endorsed’ and leave it for the time being. Let us get down to the details and begin with the meeting between Jacob Zuma and President Mugabe in Pretoria the Friday before the conference on Saturday in Johannesburg. Although details of their discussion have been kept secret, it remains an interesting meeting in the context of the Livingstone meeting and the meeting that would be held the following day. We are told Jacob Zuma requested for that meeting. We are also told MDC-T were infuriated by the meeting and demanded to be included. That is interesting. What was discussed in that meeting? The two presidents came out smiling at the cameras and shaking hands. The body language was so different from that at Livingstone where everyone walked away quietly and headed home. It was reported President Mugabe quipped at one point that he had never attended a SADC meeting like the one in Livingstone. And then there was the three-hour meeting in Pretoria where they came out smiling and shaking hands. It must be remembered they had last met in Livingstone where it is doubtful they had even bade each other goodbye. What assurances did they give each other? Still on the body language, when they emerged from the meeting in Johannesburg, Morgan Tsvangirai looked in a hurry and angry, at least that is what some of us noticed. When asked by reporters what had transpired, he grubbily referred them to read the communiqué. If his party is happy about the outcome of the meeting as they claim, there certainly must be something, no matter how small, that they lost from the Livingstone meeting. Morgan’s body language said so, so loudly. Perhaps his concern about President Mugabe being invited alone by Zuma before the crucial conference came out clearly through the deliberations. Even the inclusion of members from the facilitating countries onto JOMIC, as the communiqué said, did not seem to have assuaged the MDC-T leader’s nerves. That surely was a victory for his party. But as Welshman Ncube warned, the terms of reference for those people must be clearly spelt out. Otherwise there is danger of the facilitation team deciding what must be done in Zimbabwe. The MDC-T might not worry about that because they have never been directly involved in the process to decide the future of our country because someone else has always decided for them, but we are confident ZANU PF will not allow that. It shouldn’t really matter whether it is Jacob Zuma or David Cameron.


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