‘Sadc fails Zimbabwe’
HARARE – The International Crisis Group (ICG), a Brussels-based think-tank run by retired statesmen, says Sadc has failed Zimbabwe.
The conflict monitoring and resolution group said in its latest bulletin that Sadc, the guarantor of Zimbabwe’s troubled inclusive administration, has failed to enforce implementation of the power-sharing global political agreement (GPA) that it brokered in 2008.
“The Sadc has limited capacity to monitor, evaluate and ensure implementation of agreements that it helps broker and has no sanction mechanism for violation of the deal,” said the report, titled Implementing Peace and Security Architecture (2) Southern Africa.
The ICG says power sharing GPA signatories and the facilitators — Sadc and especially South Africa, the lead country — must hurriedly move to avert a fast-approaching, potentially disastrous election season.
It cited a lag in security sector and media reforms; law and order considerations and risks of political violence.
The ICG said Sadc structures formed to ensure implementation of the GPA have been undermined.
“The GPA provided for the formation of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) tasked with overseeing compliance with and implementation of the agreement,” the ICG report says.
“Due to political polarisation and limited interaction with Sadc, Jomic was ineffective in ensuring comprehensive monitoring, let alone full implementation of the GPA.”
In an effort to remedy this situation, Sadc gave ultimatums to the parties in November 2009 and August 2010, without notable compliance.
“This exposed the regional bloc’s limitation in enforcing the implementation of a deal it had brokered.
“Others attributed that to the vagueness of the role of “guarantors” to the agreement, while Zanu PF insisted that the sovereign authority and mandate of implementation lay with the GPA parties only and not any external stakeholders.”
At the Sadc meeting in Livingstone, Zambia, in March 2011, the Sadc troika organ was requested to dispatch three members to work with Jomic to strengthen its oversight of the GPA.
“Despite endorsement by the heads of state in Sandton (South Africa) in June, it was a further year before two officers were sent,” says the report, referring to David Katye from Tanzania and Colly Muunyu, a Zambian national.
“This followed protracted resistance by Zanu PF, which interpreted this measure as interference in the domestic affairs of a sovereign member state.”
A communiqué from the Livingstone summit called for the establishment of an election roadmap, and in early July, the GPA negotiating teams signed off on a draft document that highlighted some key areas of disagreement.
“Progress with negotiations and mediation slowed visibly over the following 10 months, and it was only at the extraordinary heads of state summit in Luanda in early June 2012 that Sadc reiterated the imperative of reform implementation before elections,” the report says.
The ICG noted that despite some progress around the drafting of the much-delayed constitution, security concerns had been exacerbated by destabilising political statements from senior defence force members and widespread impunity for past and current violations.
While South African President Jacob Zuma has adopted a more robust approach to the mediation, his mediation has been hobbled by preparations for the ANC congress at Mangaung and battling his own succession woes, leaving little time to deal with the Zimbabwe mediation.
“After November 2010, Zuma’s next visit to Zimbabwe was on August 15, 2012, and as of October 2012, he is still faced with resolving the impasse over the draft constitution that must precede a much-anticipated referendum,” the ICG report says.
“His protracted period of absence, which has been blamed on domestic and international commitments, is seen by some as having sustained the election roadmap gridlock.” – Gift Phiri