THE Southern African Development Community (SADC) Organ Troika and Council Chairperson Ministers who met Thursday in Botswana to consider the unfolding political and security situation in Zimbabwe said they were against the removal of democratically elected governments and called for a leaders summit on the crisis.
A statement issued by the SADC Secretariat Communications and Public relations Unit also called upon all the stakeholders in Zimbabwe to settle the political challenges through peaceful means.
The Organ Troika also recommended an urgent Extra Ordinary SADC Summit and committed to "remain seized with the situation in Zimbabwe".
The emergency meeting was called upon by SADC chairperson and South African president Jacob Zuma after the Zimbabwe National Army led by the Defence Forces Commander Constantino Chiwenga staged a coup claiming that they were targeting "criminals" around President Robert Mugabe who have been destroying the country.
The Gaborone meeting was attended by Angola, South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.
Commenting on the SADC resolution that it was against the unconstitutional removal of democratically elected governments, People's Democratic Party (PDP) national spokesperson Jacob Mafume said SADC must seize this opportunity to push for an orderly transition.
"It is their delayed reaction in this process that has led us to this point," said Mafume.
He added, "We need a clear road map to elections and this government was never democratically elected."
His counterpart from MDC Kuraone Chihwayi said SADC's call for a peaceful solution was in order, adding "it's too early for the regional block to intervene militarily".
The SADC announcement was made at the same time when embattled President Robert Mugabe appeared in public for the first time since Monday when he met envoys dispatched by President Zuma at State House.
Images published by state-owned Herald showed Mugabe with general Chiwenga, Father Fidelis Mukonori, Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi.