Botswana President Ian Khama says the Southern African Development Community should find a lasting solution to Zimbabwe’s problems to ensure that Zimbabwe is removed from the regional organisation’s agenda.
Speaking after meeting Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai who was on a regional tour to brief regional leaders about the latest upsurge in violence and harassment of party activists, Khama said Botswana has heard disturbing news about Zimbabwe, which he said SADC must address.
He said the next general elections in Zimbabwe must be credible for the benefit of the people of Zimbabwe and SADC. This was quite possible as President Robert Mugabe had promised to consult other stakeholders to ensure that agreed arrangements leading to free and fair general elections were followed, Khama said.
“I will be very surprised if President Robert Mugabe changes his mind and violates GPA because he has gone on record that he will consult all concerned stakeholders when it comes to general elections and will run them within the confines and spirit of the GPA”, he said.
Tsvangirai, Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara signed a Global Political Agreement on 15 September 2008, which ushered the inclusive government that came to power in February, 2009.
There are still some sticking points within the GPA among them the swearing in of Roy Bennett as deputy Minister of Agriculture, the sacking of attorney-general Johannes Tomana and central bank governor Gideon Gono for the Movement for Democratic Change, and the removal of sanctions for the Zimbabwe African National Union- Patriotic Front.
South African President Jacob Zuma is sending his facilitation team to resolve the current impasse this week.
The SADC troika meets in Zambia next week and is expected to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe.