During the summit, SADC called on Zimbabwe’s coalition government to work on a new constitution and put it to a referendum. They called on politicians to adhere to the terms of the Global Political Agreement of 2008.
Dumisani Nkomo, the Executive Director of a Bulawayo-based Christian organisation, HABAKKUK Trust, said the outcome of the SADC summit was good news for Zimbabweans.
“It was obvious that the SADC leaders were not going to bless elections without all the necessary reforms being put in place. Even when President Robert Mugabe and his party called for elections this year, they were just grandstanding,” said Nkomo.
Political analyst, Zenzele Ndebele, said the Angolan summit had put a spanner in Zanu (PF)’s plans to hold elections this year.
“Zanu (PF) is racing against time. Next year Mugabe will be turning 89 and if the party plans to field him as a candidate, it will be a joke. Definitely, the battle for succession within Zanu (PF) is going to escalate,”said Ndebele.
In a statement on Tuesday the MDC-T said it hailed SADC’s position.
‘’The MDC commends SADC’s refusal to bow down to Zanu (PF)’s demands for an election this year, with or without a new constitution, a clear sign of high professional integrity on the part of the grouping,’’ added the party.
MDC-T said elections were supposed to be process-driven and estimated that they would take place between July and
September 2013 because a lot needed to be done before the polls could he conducted.
The party urged other regional and continental bodies to ‘’emulate SADC’s unwavering support to bringing democracy and real change in Zimbabwe’’.
The director of the Matabeleland Constitutional Reform Agenda, Effie Ncube, said the SADC outcome was a clear defeat for Mugabe and his party.
“What clearly emerged from this summit is that Mugabe is now powerless,” said Ncube.
He said Mugabe’s new ally, Zambian President Michel Sata, was still new in the regional body and would not influence veteran SADC leaders.
Mbuso Fuzwayo, the Secretary of Ibhetshulikazulu, also welcomed the SADC recommendations.
“This was a victory for the Zimbabwean people and we are beginning to have confidence in SADC,” he said.
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