Robert Mugabe has been threatening to unilaterally call for fresh polls without fundamental reforms.
And attempts to resolve the dispute, largely led by South Africa, have foundered on the personal animosity between the two leaders Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
The regional bloc, Sadc, convened an extraordinary mini-summit on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Cape Town last weekend to consider urgent and pressing peace and security matters that threaten the essence of regional cooperation and integration.
And once again, Zimbabwe remains on this list.
We applaud Tanzania as the current chair of the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security
Cooperation, together with South Africa and Namibia, for keeping focus on Zimbabwe.
While the Troika considered the crisis in the eastern part of the DRC and the situation in Madagascar, South Africa reported to the summit on the facilitation process in Zimbabwe.
And as reported elsewhere in the edition, Sadc has called for political parties in Zimbabwe to implement all reforms agreed in the global political agreement (GPA) before the next harmonised elections.
We commend Sadc for keeping its focus on Zimbabwe and calling for responsive political will from the political leaders in regard to implementation of democratic reforms as the way toward a peaceful, free and fair polls.
The PM, in his regional diplomatic offensive, submitted to the regional leaders that there is a deadlock in line with a Maputo summit clause that says if in disagreement; call the chairperson of the Troika.
From a cursory look, it is clear Zimbabwean parties have been unable to reach consensus on crucial reforms.
While Zanu PF has equivocated over security sector and media reforms, Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube have insisted on the reforms.
We urge Sadc to maintain its stance, and we cannot countenance any further stonewalling of crucial reforms before polls.
Zanu PF has been shifting goalposts, reneging on agreements already made.
Zanu PF is also threatening to ditch the regional mediation. That prospect is just too ghastly to contemplate.
The political hold-up has damaged the country terribly. The economy in particular has taken a beating.
Whoever does win the forthcoming polls will therefore have plenty of work to do. The regional bloc must remain steadfast and continue using its much-maligned “quiet diplomacy”.
The regional body’s efforts have been very quiet —so quiet that sometimes it was hard to tell if anything was happening at all. The mediators have received plenty of criticism for not being harder on Mugabe, especially when it seemed he was willfully breaking promises made and obstructing progress.