23 April 2018

Southern Africa: SADC Summit Set to 'Assess Situation in Zim, Lesotho, DRC' - Report

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President Emmerson Mnangawa of Zimbabwe and DRC President Joseph Kabila

Zimbabwe is reportedly on the agenda at a SADC Double Troika Summit of Heads of State and Government to be held in Angola on Monday and Tuesday.

According to New Zimbabwe.com, the summit is aimed at assessing the situation and evaluating the consolidation of democracy in the region.

Quoting a statement by the Angolan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the report said that "the consolidation of democracy in the sub region will also be evaluated, especially in Madagascar, Swaziland, the DRC and Zimbabwe".

The report said, however, that it did not seem likely that the Southern African Development Community had any plans to take any stance against the November 2017 ouster of Zimbabwe's long serving president Robert Mugabe by the military.

Mugabe recently made remarks that South Africa could have done "much more" to save him politically during last year's military takeover.

'SA could have done much more'

The 94-year-old made the remarks during an interview with the privately-owned Zimbabwe Independent paper at his Blue Roof mansion in Harare.

This was after he had be asked whether felt betrayed by his neighbours. Mugabe said: "In a sense, yes." But he conceded that none of Zimbabwe's neighbours apart from South Africa had the capacity to intervene.

"South Africa could have done much more. It did not have to send an army, but just to engage," he said.

Former president Jacob Zuma sent his defence and security ministers to Harare on November 15, hours after the military took control of the country and placed Mugabe under house arrest.

Mugabe said the South African envoys "gave a false impression that all was okay [and that] they had spoken not just to us but also to the soldiers, and then gave out that there was no need for intervention".

He said it was then that other countries in the region "just sat on their laurels and they said ah well South Africa says there's no need [to intervene]".

But New Zimbabwe.com said that SADC executive secretary Stergomena Lawrence Tax was in the country last week where she congratulated Emmerson Mnangagwa on being elected leader of the ruling Zanu-PF and becoming the country's president.

"She also praised Zimbabweans for managing the volatile political situation soon after Mugabe was elbowed out of his job," the report said.

Meanwhile, a statement by the presidency said on Monday that President Cyril Ramaphosa was scheduled to participate in the SADC Double Troika Summit.

The statement said that the summit would also pay attention to Lesotho.

The SADC Double Troika is comprised of the following countries: South Africa (Chair of SADC), Republic of Namibia (Deputy Chair), Kingdom of Swaziland (Outgoing Chair), Republic of Angola (Organ Chair), Republic of Zambia (Incoming Chair of Organ) and the United Republic of Tanzania (Outgoing Chair of Organ).

Source: News24

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