All eyes on SADC Troika……. as Zim tensions mount

tsvangirai_adressingHARARE A special regional summit later this week will try to put back on track Zimbabwes shaky coalition government that looks increasingly at risk of unravelling after Prime Minister (PM) Morgan Tsvangirai partially withdrew his MDC party from the eight-month old administration. (Pictured: PM Tsvangirai Decision to suspend coopera

The Southern African Development Community (SADC)s special organ on politics and security also known as the Troika will next Thursday convene a special conference in Harare to try resolve growing differences between Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe who are not on talking terms since the PMs decision to cut cooperation with the veteran President.

Mozambican President and Troika chairman Armando Guebuza assured Tsvangirai, when the two met in the town of Chimoio last Tuesday, that he would be travelling to Zimbabwe this week with a special taskforce of ministers for separate talks with the three principals of the troubled Harare coalition.

Allies of Mugabe

Guebuzas talks with Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara will culminate in a mini-summit on October 30 chaired by the Mozambican President and to be attended by Zimbabwes three principal political leaders.

Zambian President Rupiah Banda and Swaziland s King Mswati, who are the members of the Troika, are not expected to attend the Harare summit in person with their foreign ministers expected to represent them.

The Zimbabwean on Tuesday understands that Mugabe who last week sought to downplay the MDC boycott of his Zanu (PF) calling it a non-event — has attempted to meet Tsvangirai ahead of the Troika intervention. But the Premier has refused, insisting that he has been taken for a ride many times before and would only meet with Mugabe after all outstanding issue have been resolved.

There is, however, scepticism over the SADC Troika’s capacity to resolve the outstanding issues threatening to torpedo the government of national unity (GNU), given regional leaders known support for Mugabe.

All the three members of the Troika are considered allies of Mugabe, who still commands respect from many African leaders despite his ruinous policies in Zimbabwe.

The Troika has been accused of treating Mugabe with kid gloves. For example, the Troika was tasked by SADC leaders at their Kinshasa summit last August to monitor of the implementation of Zimbabwes power-sharing deal but the organ had remained on the sidelines as political crisis festered on in Harare.

Only Tsvangirais dramatic decision to cut communication with Mugabe appeared to jolt the Troika into action.

SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salamao, who works with the Troika, travelled almost immediately after Tsvangirais his move to boycott cooperation with Mugabe.

Salamao met officials from Zimbabwes three main political parties but did not meet Mugabe or Tsvangirai who was away touring the region to pressure against Mugabe.

Tsvangirai suspended cooperation with Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party, blaming the veteran leaders obstinacy for failing to fulfil last years political agreement and the slow pace of democratic reforms.

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