via SADC summit shock | The Zimbabwean by Farai Mabeza
Analysts and politicians have condemned the Southern African Development Community’s decision to appoint Zimbabwe to the post of deputy chair before the country’s electoral dispute is settled. Malawian President Joyce Banda took over the Chair of the regional bloc at the recent Lilongwe summit and President Robert Mugabe will take over from her at the end of Malawi’s one year term. This means Harare will host the 2014 SADC Summit. As deputy chair, Zimbabwe will become part of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
Political analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said SADC leaders had exposed themselves as incapable of dealing with the Zimbabwean crisis. “SADC is an institution that has overwhelming evidence questioning the legitimacy of the election of Mugabe. They never said the elections were credible, but only said that they were free and fair. They have shown that they are incapable of being the referee in this situation.
“By appointing Mugabe to this post, it’s like appointing the village bully to be the class monitor. This will actually worsen the situation for Zimbabwe,” he said.
Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition spokesperson, Thabani Nyoni, said SADC had set a bad precedent by recognizing Mugabe who won in elections “that do not qualify to be labelled as credible”.
“We are shocked that Zimbabwe, a country that was under the curatorship of SADC, has now been turned into a country providing leadership in SADC. There is an element of contradiction within SADC itself in that regard. What they have done is that they have set a bad precedent because that pattern will be followed in other countries that go for elections with Zimbabwe leading SADC. The body has failed to inspire confidence in Zimbabwe and the region as well,” said Nyoni.
Kurauone Chihwayi, the deputy spokesman of the MDC led by Welshman Ncube said it a sad development .
“SADC said the elections were free and peaceful and we agree with that. But they should have addressed the issue of credibility and fairness before taking this decision. The election did not give equal access and opportunities to all parties,” he said, adding that SADC had rubber stamped Mugabe’s fraudulent victory against the wishes of Zimbabweans who were “robbed during the elections”.