SADC “unhappy” with slow pace of Zimbabwe talks: report


Southern African leaders are “unhappy” with the slow pace of negotiations aimed at ending the political crisis in Zimbabwe, a regional defence and security committee official says.

Southern African Development Community’s (SADC) leaders met in Maputo, Mozambique, last week to discuss problems in Zimbabwe, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho and Madagascar, French news agency AFP reports.

The meeting also endorsed the nomination of Malawian President Bingu was Mutharika as successor to Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi as the head of the African Union, AFP added.

The 15-nation SADC brokered an accord in February 2008 that resulted in Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai forming an unsteady power sharing government. Since then, Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change has accused Mugabe of violating terms of the agreement.

Tsvangirai temporarily withdrew his party from the coalition on October 16. He reversed his decision on November 6 following talks mediated by the SADC to resolve outstanding issues, including the appointment of central bank governor Gideon Gono and attorney general Gen Johannes Tomana.
“With regards to the pace of negotiations and the pace of events, nobody is happy,” Oldemiro Baloi, chairman of SADC’s politics, defence and security committee, said in an interview yesterday in Maputo.
“We want the talks to conclude as soon as possible.”