SADC Washes Its Hands Of Zimbabwe

A stony-faced President Motlanthe of South Africa sits together with the SADC Secretary General at 5:30a.m. on Tuesday morning to announce to the press the outcome of the SADC Summit in Zimbabwe that had started 12 hours earlier

The end has now come.

SADC has unequivocally washed its hands of Zimbabwe and will officially walk away on 30 January this year.

What will happen on that date, as decided by the SADC Heads of State in South Africa yesterday is that Thabo Mbeki, whom the leaders affirmed again as the mediator on Zimbabwe in a direct slap to the MDC's face, will convene a meeting of the Zimbabwean Joint Monitoring Committee (JOMIC), which will immediately  elect a Chairman.

The Joint Monitoring Committee is the mechanism by which the parties agreed in the September 15 agreement to solve any differences, on the understanding that there was now an agreement on the table and all that remained was to implement it and form a government.

The Joint Monitoring Committe is a purely Zimbabwean body, made up of people chosen by the MDCs and ZANU PF.

It is vital for Zimbabweans to understand the implication of this move by SADC. What it means effectively is that SADC has now come through on its threat last week that it will leave the Zimbabwean parties to implement the agreement. SADC is walking away, it considers its job done and now waits for the six months period after a new government is formed, for the arrangement to be reviewed as agreed on November 9 last year in South Africa at yet another SADC meeting.

Once the JOMIC is set up on 30 January, all attempts by any of the parties to bring the matter back to SADC will be met with the answer that there is now an internal mechanism to deal with these within Zimbabwe.

I am now being told that SADC has said that it remains the Guarantor of the Agreement but that the Summit told Tsvangirai last night that they can not be Guarantors to something that did not exist, hence their insistence that a government be formed first and then, as Guarantors, they stand ready to listen to any grievances arising from breach of the agreement by any of the parties AFTER the six month agreed period.

Please note that SADC only says that it will present a "progress report" to the forthcoming African Union Summit, whose Chairman was also part of this Summit and who also took part in the decisions that were reached and are contained in the Communique below.

In other words, the African Union has already tied its own position to that of SADC, even before the official report is made to the Continental body.

The MDC, in a short response, simply lists the same five demands that SADC says in the Communique below can only be dealt with by a government in Zimbabwe once it is formed.

These are (SADC answers to these MDC positions are contained in my brackets after each MDC point as released in their own Press Release):

  • The enactment of Ammendment Number 19 (SADC says they agree and the Ammendment should be enacted by 5 February)
  • The Definition of the National Security Council (SADC answers by saying that "the negotiators of the party will meet to discuss the draft MDC Bill on National Security, but under the aegis of the Joint Monitoring Committee and NOT SADC)
  • Equitable Allocation of Portfolio Ministries (SADC says the allocation of ministries was endorsed by SADC on November 9 last year at the request of Tsvangirai and they especially point to the fact that it was Tsvangirai who suggested the sharing of Home Affairs as a compromise. SADC reiterated yesterday its position that this allocation will only be reviewed six months after a government is formed, as stated on November 9 last year).
  • The appointment of provincial governors and other senior positions. (SADC answers this directly in its communique of yesterday by saying that "the appointment of the Reserve Bank Governor and Attorney General shall be dealt with by the inclusive government after its formation). Please note this carefully because it displays yet again SADC's determination to wash its hands of Zimbabwe and leave it to sort out its own mess.
  • Breaches of MOU and GPA (this point SADC explicitly ignore because, like I said before, they have decided to look at this matter in a purely legal manner (they don't consider the spirit of the agreement, which is not written in black and white) and by doing so, they have asked the MDC to point to specific clauses in the Agreement that were violated by ZANU PF. The MDC were, according to reports, unable to point to one.
Can I now please hear from you Jess, who was so insistent that Zuma's camp, if it took power in South Africa, would come down against Mugabe very quickly and our problems will be over?


1. The Extra-Ordinary Summit of the SADC Heads of State and Government met at the Presidential Guest house in Pretoria, Republic of South Africa on 26-27 January 2009. The Extraordinary Summit met to review the implementation of the Zimbabwe Global Political Agreement.

2. The Extraordinary Summit was chaired by H.E. Kgalema Motlanthe, Chairperson of SADC and President of the Republic of South Africa

3. The Extraordinary Summit was attended by the following Heads of State and Government or their representatives:

Botswana H.E. President Lt. Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama

Lesotho Right Honourable Prime Minister Pakalitha Mosisili

Mozambique H.E. President Armando Emilio Guebuza, Deputy Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation.

Namibia H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba

South Africa H.E. President Kgalema Motlanthe Chairperson of SADC

Swaziland H.M. King Mswati 111, Chairpeson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation

United Republic of Tanzania H.E. President Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete

Zambia H.E. Rupiah Banda

Zimbabwe H.E. H.E. President Robert Gabriel Mugabe

Angola Hon Assuncao Dos Anjos, Minister of External affairs

DRC Hon.Alexis Thambwe Muamba, Minister of Foreign affairs

Seychelles Honourable Patrick Pillay, Minister of Foreign Affairs

Malawi Hon George Chaponda, Minister of Local Governmnt and Rural development

Madagascar Hon Dr Denis Andriamandroso, Madagascar Ambassador to South Africa

Mauritius Mr Anund Priyay Neewor, GOSK, Secretary of Foreign Affairs

4. The meeting was also attended by His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, Former President of the Republic of South Africa and SADC Facilitator on the Zimbabwe Political Dialogue, Leaders of MDC Formations, Right Honourable Morgan Tsvangirai, Prime Minister Designate and Professor Welshman Ncube,representing Professor Arthur Mutambara, Deputy Prime Minister Designate of the Republic of Zimbabwe, and the Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr. Tomaz Augusto Salomão.

5. In his opening remarks, His Excellency President Kgalema Motlanthe, Chairpeson of SADC and President for the Republic of South Africa welcomed all delegates to the meeting and re-affirmed SADC’s commitment to finding a lasting solution to the implementation of the Zimbabwe global political agreement.

6. The Extraordinary Summit noted that the people of zimbabwe are faced with difficult challenges and suffering that can only be addressed once an inclusive governmnet in in place.

7. In view of the above, the Extraordinary Summit decided as follows:

(i) the parties shall endeavour to cause parliament to pass the constitutional ammendemnet 19 by 5 february 2009.

(ii) the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Ministers shall be sworn in by 11 february 2009:

(iii) the Ministers and Deputy Ministers shall be sworn in on 13 february 2009, which will conclude the process of the formation on the inclusive governmnt.

(iv) The Joint-Monitoring Implementation Committee (JOMIC), provided for in the Global Political Agreement shall be activated immediately. The first meeting of JOMIC shall be convened by the facilitator on 30 January 2009 and shall, among other things, elect the chairpesons;

(v) The allocation of ministerial portfolios endorsed by the SADC Extraordinary Summit held on 9 November 2008 shall be reveiwed six (6) months after the inauguration of the inclusive governmnet.

(vi) The appointements of the Reserve Bank Governor and the Attprney General will be dealt with by the inclusive government after its formation

(vii) The negotiators of the parties shall meet immediately to consider the natioanl security bill submitted by the MDCT-T as well as the formula for the ditribution of governors:

8. The Extraordinary Summit expressed its appreciarion for the efforts of His Excellency Thabo Mbeki, Former President of the republic of South sfrica and the Facilitator of the political dialogue on Zimbabwe in helping to find an amicable solution to challenges facing the Republic of Zimbabwe and encouraged him to continue with his facilitation efforts.

9. The Extraordinary Summit commended the political parties to the Global Political Agreement for their opennnes and constructive engagement in finding a lasting solutio to the challenges facing Zimbabwe.

10. SADC shall remain seized with the Zimbabwe situation in keeping wth its obligations as guarantor of the Global Poliical Agreement.

11. The Extraordinary Summit directed the chairperson of the SADC to present the African Union at its forthcoming summit a progress report on the implementation of the Sham- El-Sheik Resolution

12. The Extraordinary Summit received a brief on the prevailing security situation in the Democratic Republic of Congo and supports the govermnet efforts to findimng a lasting solutionb to the conflict in the Eastern part of the country. The government of the DRC expressed it gratitude to SADC for the support thau far rendered.

13. The Extraordinary Summit also urged the interantional community to continue providing the people of the Democratic republic of Congo with humanitarian assistance.

14. His Excellecy President Kgalema Motlathe officially closed the extraordinary summit

Pretoria, Republic of South Africa
27 January 200

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  1. For any one who has been following the proceedings from the MOU to the agreement to share power finally signed, It appears Tsvangirai has been shifting goal posts all the way. The letter that former SA president Cde Thabo Mbeki wrote to Tsvangirai in reply to Biti's letter further exposed Tsvangirai's indicisiveness, flip flopping and insincerity.I think most of the leaders, even those who have been siding with Tsvangirai were getting fed up of him. The coming of Rupiah Banda as President of Zambia, struck a hard blow on Tsvangirai' and Ian Khama's approach to solving political issues.They had no regard for diplomacy or respect.I hail ex-president Mbeki for his political maturity. "There is no diplomacy that is not silent", the moment it becomes loud, it ceases to become diplomacy. Even the westerners who were pushing for the loud demonisation of a sitting head of State, do not do the same to any of their ilk.They will discuss quietly over a cup of tea, nomatter how extreme their views differ, or how much hate they have for one another, they hardly vilify one of their ilk in the same way they wanted an African head of state to be vilified and ridiculed.
    I totally agree with the position taken by SADC, even on alleged violations of MOU. It is like a men courting a girl, during the process, the girl and the man agree on terms of the relationship, that is choice of clothes, food outlets, etc. The man can not stop buying clothes waiting for the time the relationship will kick off, which is not set, which no body knows whether the girl is finally going to accept. Unoitwa gara ndichauya, you will be parked for ever, with all plans put on halt. The man can change his ways once the relationship starts.Thats when he get consult on what meal to have for lunch.
    By the way why do they call this agreement "Global Political Agreement". If someone can enlighten me on that one.I fail to understand the Global part of this agreement.
    Mr Magora, What is happening with Mavambo? The expulsions we read about , are they true. People are in the dark about this project.


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