SADC pushes Zanu agenda

The SADC secretariat has raised eyebrows within Zimbabwe’s civil society organisations by carrying partisan items of news, in its newsletter.

Analysts told SW Radio Africa that circulating an article about the ANC’s promise to support ZANU PF in next year’s elections in their monthly newsletter was unprecedented.

During ZANU PF’s annual conference held in Bulawayo two weeks ago, Gwede Mantashe, the ANC Secretary-General, said his party was glad to offer help to ZANU PF to win the next election in Zimbabwe.

In his solidarity message Mantashe said the ANC was willing to assist the former ruling party in coming up with election messages and strategies that would deliver victory.

Dewa Mavhinga, the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition’s regional coordinator in Johannesburg, said the SADC newsletter was not for partisan politics – it was meant to deal with member states issues.

‘Its either someone in the secretariat was being mischievious or is a big fan of ZANU PF. The way this thing is being interpreted implies the SADC secretariat is supporting ZANU PF.

‘It means President Jacob Zuma must clarify that position, otherwise he is compromised. This is a problem and serious conflict of interest between Zuma’s position and his party’s position of supporting ZANU PF which would affect his mediation role,’ Mavhinga said.

The leading pro-democracy activist added that the ANC’s open support was extremely worrying, as they had hoped that South Africa would continue to play an objective role in support of democracy in the region.

‘We want them to fight for democracy within SADC and not in the corner of ZANU PF. That party is certainly not looking to the future but is comfortable looking back to the past as confirmed by the endorsement of Mugabe as their presidential candidate, who has been their leader since 1975,’ Mavhinga said.

South Africa is leading SADC efforts to mediate in the crisis in Zimbabwe. But political commentators believe more needs to be done by the regional bloc to support the unity government and to ensure that legitimate elections can take place.

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