MDC Members Picket for Action

mdc_picket_dbncityhallMembers of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) (Pictured) picketed last Friday outside the Mozambique Consulate in Durban to demand a meeting of the SADC Troika to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe.

The picketers, from the MDC KwaZulu-Natal district, submitted a petition to the consulate urging Armando Guebuza, Mozambican president and SADC Troika head, to convene a meeting to discuss the breaches of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) by Zanu-PF.

This matter has dragged on too long, said Nhamo Chikowore, MDC KwaZulu-Natal district chairperson. A meeting must be convened immediately.

The petition called upon the SADC Troika, the regional trade blocs politics, security and defence organ, to hold President Robert Mugabe accountable for ongoing violations of the GPA and to use their leadership to resolve outstanding issues, among them:

– That Mugabe be forced to honour the letter and spirit of the GPA by rescinding the unilateral appointments of Gideon Gono [Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor] and Johannes Tomana [Attorney General]

– That provincial governors and Roy Bennett, deputy minister of agriculture designate, be sworn in immediately

– That farm invasions be halted and the rule of law reinstated in order to revive productive farming, which is essential for ensuring food security for all Zimbabweans

– That property rights be observed, including the recent seizure of Kingdom Meikles Africa Holdings and the threat of nationalising the remaining industries and mines

– That the drafting of the new constitution be expedited and that it is people-driven.

The petition, which was also sent to the mayors chambers at the Durban City Hall, accuses the guarantors of the GPA (SADC) and the African Union (AU) of failing to reign in Mugabe by deferring these issues at respective summits, prolonging the suffering of ordinary Zimbabweans.

Chikowore said that with Mozambique gearing up for elections, a meeting is even more pertinent. With the elections, everything will take a backseat, said Chikowore. He said if Guebuza failed to be re-elected, this would lead to further delays.

The SADC summit in Kinshasa earlier this month dropped Zimbabwe from the agenda despite Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirais campaign for its inclusion.

The matter was handed over to the SADC Troika, consisting of Armando Guebuza and his counterparts, Zambian President Rupiah Banda and King Mswati of Swaziland.

Chikowore said the consulate promised that the petition would be sitting on Guebuzas desk this week.

Mugabe continues to halt any progress that is identified with Tsvangirai, said Chikowore. We want the wheel of change to move forward and it is time for Mugabe to recognise that Tsvangirai is an equal partner in this governing arrangement, said Chikowore.

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