Monday’s SADC meeting in Harare again ended in a stalemate as talking parties didn’t move an inch in their demands. After more than 13 hours of talk no progress was made. The meeting ended around 2 am Tuesday.
“There was no progress at all,”, said Tendai Biti, the secretary-general and chief negotiator of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
The issue will now be referred to a full summit of the Southern African Development Community, expected in the next few weeks, he added.
During the day 47 people were arrested and eight injured when police violently broke up a protest by 100 activists who tried to march by the summit.
A similar incident happed on September 15 when a power sharing deal was signed.
Police fired tear-gas and beat the crowd of students and activists, just 300
metres from the hotel where the leaders were meeting.
Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai met with key regional leaders, but they left with only an agreement to seek a broader African summit in hopes of reaching a deal.
A communique said the two sides still disagreed on which party should
control the Home affairs ministry, which oversees the police.
It urged all 15 leaders of SADC to hold a “summit to further review the current political situation in Zimbabwe as a matter of urgency.”
The summit urged the rivals “to genuinely commit themselves in finding a
lasting solution to the current deadlock.”
“The people of Zimbabwe are faced with difficult challenges and suffering
that can only be addressed once the inclusive government is in place,” it
South African President Kgalema Motlanthe as well as Mozambican President
Armando Emilio Guebuza, Swaziland Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini and
Angolan Foreign Minister Assuncao dos Anjos had hoped to pressure the two
sides into an agreement Monday.
A new summit of all SADC members could take weeks to organise, and the
group’s executive secretary Tomaz Salomao said it was not clear where the
emergency meeting would be held.
“The only outstanding issue is the one related to home affairs,” he told
reporters in the morning.
Meanwhile, Zanu PF’s chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa earlier on charged that Tsvangirai was fashioning himself into “another Savimbi” — reference to the western-backed former Angolan rebel leader who was captured and killed by government troops after years of leading an insurrection and pulling out of peace talks.
“If, however, the British and American intelligence services have decided to turn Tsvangirai into another Savimbi, Monday’s meeting will be a dismal failure of which Zimbabweans would have to face up to the challenge and learn pretty fast how to cope with developments that will devolve from such a negative outcome,” Chinamasa said.
He added: “I know that as Zimbabweans we lack the experience on how to deal with a Savimbi case in our national politics. Someone out there should talk to the British and Americans and dissuade them from turning Tsvangirai into another Savimbi.” –