SADC leaders snub Thabo Mbeki

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Southern African leaders will hold an emergency meeting in Swaziland Wednesday to discuss the crisis in Zimbabwe without key negotiator – South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki.

The meeting in Swaziland’s capital Mbabane was called by the leading regional body, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), as international pressure mounts on Mugabe to resolve his country’s political turmoil and economic meltdown.

The leaders of Tanzania, Angola and Swaziland would attend the meeting in their capacity as the SADC’s troika organ on politics, defence and security, the Tanzanian government said in a statement.

Meanwhile, South Africa’s ruling African National Congress said it was “dismayed ” by Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF government which it says is “riding roughshod” over hard-won democratic rights.

“The right to govern themselves and regularly to choose their own government was earned through sacrifices and struggles often eliciting the loss of life,” the ANC said Tuesday.

“No one, no government, no political party, no political leader has the right to abridge or subvert these rights.” the ANC said, adding it could not be indifferent to the “flagrant violation” of every principle of democratic governance.

“We are, consequently, deeply dismayed by the actions of the government of Zimbabwe which is riding roughshod over the hard-won democratic rights of the people of that country.”

Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has dismissed Monday’s unprecedented and unanimous decision by the UN Security Council to condemn violence against the opposition and declare that a free and fair presidential election on Friday was impossible. Panapress .

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