Morgan Tsvangirai Not Invited To SADC Summit

Last year, Morgan Tsvangirai was reduced to watching from the sidelines as the SADC Heads of State met, amongst them the man he had just defeated in elections in March 2008, whom the SADC Heads of State had welcomed back into their ranks as a bona-fide Head of State. They argued that Mugabe's position had been recognised by Tsvangirai in the agreement that he had signed with Mugabe. At one point, Mugabe point-blank refused to leave the room so that a discussion on Zimbabwe could take place, even after the meeting had asked the MDC leader and his delegation to leave the room because the meeting was one of Heads of State only. Mugabe stayed on to see who would vote against him. No one did and he won out. Now Tsvangirai may have to go through the same thing again at the SADC Summit in the DRC next week.

Harare, Zimbabwe 06 September 2009

It has now emerged that the Zimbabwean Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai, has not been officially invited to the SADC Summit to be held in the Democratic Republic Congo capital of Kinshasa this coming week.

This is what prompted Tsvangirai to call the press conference last week Tuesday, at which he asked that SADC put Zimbabwe on the Summit agenda.

The Summit, as with all others like it, are for Heads of State and Government, which position Tsvangirai and the MDC negotiated away to Mugabe in the Global Political Agreement that gave birth to this monster called Inclusive Government in Harare.

The Summit proceedings, therefore, will be attended by Mugabe as the representative of the Inclusive regime in Harare.

Defiantly, and signalling how broken down the relationship between Tsvangirai and Mugabe has now become, the Prime Minister has already announced he will attend the SADC Summit at the head of an MDC (not government) delegation.

Unless SADC relents and puts the issue of Zimbabwe on its agenda, Tsvangirai will have to do what he used to do when he was still just an opposition leader: lobby presidents on the sidelines of the main summit, asking for meetings one by one from the various countries' leaders in order to put his case forward.

Jacob Zuma has indicated that he will brief the Summit on the basis of his impressions when he came to Harare to open the Harare Agricultural Show (surprisingly, even Tsvangirai told the media this week that this was the mission for Zuma and that he had not come to Zimbabwe to address the "outstanding issues").

If Tsvangirai is not invited to address the Summit even when he is physically present in the DRC capital, then it will be the final nail in the coffin of the "outstanding issues".

Mugabe has also been up to mischief and has already told the DRC president Joseph Kabila that the MDC is "drafting a letter" to SADC asking that Kabila not be involved in the issue of Zimbabwe because he is too close to Mugabe.

This is designed to raise the ire of the new SADC Chairman and set him against the MDC and Tsvangirai.

It is a dirty trick, full stop.

And it is to be hoped the MDC do not play into it.

So it appears that, come what may, there is not going to be any resolution on Zimbabwe's intractable problems in the DRC.

If that is the case, Zimbabwe will cease to be an issue for the whole of the next 12 months, because, as Kabila reigns over the regional body.


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