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Chamisa ramps up pressure on SADC

The Nelson Chamisa-led MDC will continue engaging Sadc in a bid to solve the country’s crisis although President Emmerson Mnangagwa will soon chair the bloc’s organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation which is responsible for solving disputes in the region.

Zimbabwe is set to chair the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation at a meeting to be held in Tanzania in August this year.

Emmerson will soon be assuming the position of the Chairperson of the SADC organ on Politics,Defence and Security Cooperation.

Mnangagwa extended an invite to his political opponents to a meeting to set up “a framework for dialogue and interaction”.

His political arch-rival Nelson Chamisa, leader of the MDC, snubbed the meeting, although he has indicated a willingness to meet Mnangagwa.

Chamisa said he wanted “genuine dialogue” to be held with a credible convener and mediator, such as the SADC, AU or UN, to solve the political and economic crisis.

Chamisa snubbed an invitation by President Mnangagwa to join a political summit aimed at alleviating the country's deepening crisis.     

Mnangagwa, who has faced international criticism for the brutal crackdown in January, invited leaders of the more than 20 political parties that participated in last year's disputed polls to a "post-election dialogue" at his State House office.

But the talks were held without Chamisa after he said he would only attend dialogue called by a neutral party.

Chamisa, who insists he won the July 30 vote, said the "presidency is disputed" because of "rigged presidential election result".

"We need genuine dialogue under a credible convener and mediator to solve this crisis," he said.

"Stop citizens' abuses, beatings and arrests."

In a SADC communiqué after Double Troika Summit (Summit) of the Heads of State and Government of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) held in Addis Ababa, in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia cited Zimbabwe as the Incoming Chairperson.

"H.E. Mr. Raphael Faranisi, Ambassador of the Republic of Zimbabwe to the Democratic Republic of Congo is representing the In-coming Chairperson of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation."

The current Chairperson is President Edgar Chagwa Lungu of the Republic of Zambia. Tanzanian John Joseph Magufuli who is the incoming SADC Chairperson was represent by H.E. Dr. Augustin P. Mahiga who is the  Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Co-operation.

Analysts have lamented the decision by SADC double Troika to discuss DRC elections and not even mention anything about Zimbabwe even though two Presidents President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Edgar Lungu are neighbours with the country.

Political analysts Fortune Mlalazi said, "It actually is baffling that SADC double Troika sat down and discussed DRC elections but did not talk Zimbabwe even as a footnote to say that we note the developments in the country.

"As we speak now everyone from European Union to individual countries like America and Britain, they have issued statements concerning Zimbabwe but our neighbours in SADC and the African union have turned a blind eye on us."

Mlalazi further said it is of concern to see that Mnangagwa in his capacity as President of Zimbabwe might soon be assuming the position of Chairperson of SADC Troika.

"We have a country in turmoil that has serious security issues. A country that has a security force that butchers its citizen and yet SADDC in its wisdom agrees that that country must assume chairmanship. SO the message we are getting is that forget Zimbabwe will be on SADC Troika agenda. Imagine Mnangagwa chairing a meeting to discuss himself?" He concluded.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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