via MDCs bemoan Mugabe elevation at SADC summit | The Zimbabwean by Farai Mabeza
The two Movement for Democratic Change formations have expressed surprise that the Southern African Development Community decided to appoint Zimbabwe to the post of Deputy Chair before the country’s electoral dispute is settled and final poll observation results are out.
The SADC summit held in Malawi over the weekend elected Malawian President, Joyce Banda as the Chair of the regional bloc.
Mugabe will become the chair of the bloc next year at the end of Malawi’s one year term and Harare will also host the next SADC Heads of State and Government summit in 2014.
As Deputy Chair, Zimbabwe will become part of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
MDC-T, which is disputing Mugabe’s victory at the elections and is in the process of presenting its case before the regional body, expressed its doubts over the wisdom to give Zimbabwe the post under the present circumstances.
The party’s spokesman, Douglas Mwonzora told The Zimbabwean in an interview that MDC did not believe it was a good move on the part of SADC.
“It is not a very good move to take a country that still has got such an important dispute and give it such a position,” he said.
Mwonzora, however, was of the opinion that his party’s case before SADC would not be affected.
“I don’t think it will affect our efforts. SADC acts as a body, not as individual members. Anyway the heads of states of the countries are still the same,” he said.
Kurauone Chihwayi, the deputy spokesman of the other MDC led by Welshman Ncube told The Zimbabwean that the elevation was a sad development for the country.
“It is unfortunate that SADC has taken this move. The regional body seems not to be hearing our concerns. They are closing doors on us, they are not listening. They are closing their eyes and ears to what transpired during the elections. Unfortunately they have decided to endorse Mugabe’s victory,” Chihwayi said.
SADC, in its preliminary report on the elections, said the poll had been free and peaceful but refused to address questions on fairness and credibility.
“They said the elections were free and peaceful and we agree with that. 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,” Chihwayi said.
He said SADC was rubber stamping Mugabe’s victory against the wishes of Zimbabweans who were “robbed during the elections”.