SADC tells Zimbabwe to complete reforms

2012-06-03 22:49

Johannesburg - Southern African leaders have urged Zimbabwean political rivals to set specific deadlines for the completion of political reforms paving the way for elections.

In a statement after an extraordinary summit late on Friday, SADC heads of state urged the Zimbabwean political rivals "to develop an implementation mechanism and to set out time frames for the full implementation of the roadmap to elections".

Regional chief mediator on Zimbabwe, President Jacob Zuma, said in statement on Saturday that the meeting had noted "progress on some aspects" of the agreed reforms.

But "urged the parties to implement all the outstanding issues so that a conducive environment is created for elections to take place".

Election dates are yet to be fixed, but Zimbabwe's state-controlled daily The Herald on Saturday reported that SADC wants elections held within a year.

"The SADC troika on defence, politics and security co-operation yesterday said elections in Zimbabwe should be held within the next 12 months," said the paper, without elaborating.

A spokesperson for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said he could not immediately comment on the report until he was briefed by the party's delegation to the summit.

Tsvangirai, 60, and President Robert Mugabe, 88, formed a coalition government in February 2009 after a disputed presidential poll run-off in June 2008.

The two leaders have been haggling over when new elections can be held. Mugabe wants to exit the power-sharing deal as soon as possible, while Tsvangirai insists that key reforms be implemented first.

Mugabe has repeatedly hinted he wants the vote to take place this year.

"We should go and finish the business to see when we can have elections within the period left for us. We want elections to be held this year," Mugabe was quoted by The Herald as telling reporters in Luanda.

  • Wilbert - 2012-06-03 23:55

    President Zuma says there was "progress on some aspects" of the agreed reforms. What progress is he talking about? The only significant change in the last three years is that Mugabe has secured for himself a war-chest from the sell of bloody diamonds and the Police, Army and CIO now openly support Mugabe and Zanu PF. Indeed it is these changes that have emboldened Mugabe to call for elections asap. The Zimbabwean dictator has resisted all meaningful democratic reforms for the last three years and not even the optimists would expect the tyrant to implement even two out of the dozen agreed reforms in the next year. Zimbabwe is stuck in this nightmare situation because key players like President Zuma have seen progress where there was none!

  • Lacrimose - 2012-06-04 00:12

    In the last +- 20 yrs SADC and the AU have been making statements like this to the Mugabe-regime. We've all seen the consequence of "quiet diplomacy". Again, another toothless statement with ZERO consequences. Just more cute soundbites for the media.

      Saymore - 2012-06-04 13:39

      mugabe must go now, i can't be there before he goes.

      Saymore - 2012-06-04 18:44

      ofcourse elections must be held this year..

  • jamesi.kazonga - 2012-06-13 17:11

    an idiotic newspaper of the spiteful rhodies with colonial nolstagia which will never return...

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