SADC to discuss Zimbabwe aid, Madagascar sanctions

Southern African leaders are likely to finalise a regional economic aid package for Zimbabwe and discuss possible sanctions against Madagascar when they meet next week.

Reuters says the 30 March meeting has been moved to Swaziland‘s capital, Mbabane, because an adequate venue could not be found in the original location, Cape Town, South African foreign affairs spokeswoman Nomfanelo Kota said.

Heads of state from the 15-member Southern African Development Community (SADC), which South Africa chairs, are likely to finalise a $2 billion regional aid package to Zimbabwe as it tries to rebuild its ruined economy.

The summit will also consider taking tougher action against Madagascar, whose elected government was toppled in an army-backed takeover.

If SADC imposed sanctions, it could spell growing isolation for new president Andry Rajoelina, who ousted elected leader Marc Ravalomanana in a move condemned as a coup by foreign powers.

No country has officially recognised the new leadership so far. The African Union suspended Madagascar last week and the United Nations criticised Rajoelina’s power grab.

Picture: The Department of Home Affairs, East Wing, The Union Buildings, Pretoria