SADC leaders meet to discuss Zimbabwe ahead of polls

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The Southern African Development Community (SADC) troika on politics, defence and security will meet in South Africa this weekend to discuss the political developments in Zimbabwe ahead of the July 31 elections.

Report by M&G Online

South African President Jacob Zuma’s international relations adviser, Lindiwe Zulu, who is also the spokesperson for Zuma’s facilitation team, said: “The troika is meeting in South Africa and the agenda is Zimbabwe. The SADC secretariat, which called the meeting, has all the details.”

The SADC secretariat could not be reached for comment.

The troika is responsible for promoting peace and security in the region and is chaired by Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete.

Mozambican President Armando Guebuza and Namibian leader Hifikepunye Pohamba are the other members.

Zuma will attend the meeting in his capacity as the SADC-appointed facilitator in Zimbabwe.

A diplomat in Harare said the meeting has been called to assess Zimbabwe’s level of preparedness for the polls and funding.

“There is concern that the elections will be shambolic and these concerns are justified, considering how the country handled the special vote,” said the diplomat.

“As you know, SADC helped Zimbabwe come up with an election road map, but sadly that road map has not been followed. There have also been questions around the legality of holding the elections so, as it stands, the ground is fertile for a disputed outcome, which is worrying SADC,” the diplomat added.

“SADC has been stuck on Zimbabwe for more than a decade and regional leaders were hoping the next election would not be contested. Regional leaders will be discussing how to salvage the situation.”