SADC summit on Zimbabwe still an option: SA

Southern Africa’s regional body SADC may still convene an extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe if disagreements over a power-sharing deal continue to hamper recovery, South Africa’s deputy president said.
Southern African heads of state concluded a meeting in Kinshasa where they echoed a long-standing call for sanctions to be lifted against Zimbabwe, Reuters reports.
However, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) suggested an extraordinary summit would not be necessary to review a power-sharing deal meant to attract up to $10 billion in investment to fix a battered economy.
But yesterday, South Africa’s deputy president Kgalema Motlanthe told parliament a special summit could happen to help ensure accountability among Zimbabwe’s political protagonists.
“SADC leadership … has decided that the SADC secretariat should on an ongoing basis … monitor resolution to all these outstanding issues and that if that does not produce the desired results an extraordinary summit will be convened focussing specifically on ensuring that more fillip is added to the processes of moving Zimbabwe forward,” Motlanthe said.
SADC, currently chaired by the Democratic Republic of Congo, has been at the forefront of brokering the power-sharing agreement between Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and long-time adversary Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai signed the deal in February to end a political crisis following disputed 2008 elections, but the accord is beset with problems.
Tsvangirai alleges ongoing intimidation and torture of Mugabe’s political opponents, as well as deadlock over key appointments in the central bank.
“There is really no advantage to be gained by maintaining the status quo and Zimbabweans do understand that, that in fact there will be no second chance, this is their last chance to pull themselves out of the morass they find themselves in,” Motlanthe said.

Pic: SA Deputy President- Kgalema Motlanthe