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'SADC will not recognise you,' Mugabe threatened coup plotters - so now SADC is important

07 Oct 2017 at 18:45hrs | Views
"Kwawabva kanda huyo, kwaunoenda kanda huyo!" (Before you leave, make friends where you are and where you are going!) So, goes the Shona adage. President Mugabe, in his arrogance, was very dismissive of SADC and now he is the one running to the regional grouping for protection!

"We are being threatened night and day that if a particular person does not become president we will be killed," said Grace Mugabe.

"We will not bow to that pressure. They say there will be a coup, but no-one will recognise you. The African Union will not recognise you, the SADC [Southern African Development Community] will not."

This is laughable because in June 2013 SADC asked Zimbabwe to postpone its elections until the democratic reforms, to ensure free, fair and credible elections, are implemented. Of course, Mugabe did not want any reforms implemented because he would never win free and fair elections. He was adamant the elections must go ahead with no reforms even if that meant taking Zimbabwe out of SADC; just as he had taken the country out of the Commonwealth over the issue.

"In 2013 the Maputo Summit, in June 2013, before the elections, the Maputo Summit was all about having the elections postponed – the SADC summit. I went there," Dr Ibbo Mandaza explained to Violet Gonda in one of her Hot Seat interviews.

"I was there at the Summit and Mugabe pretended to agree to a postponement of the elections. If you recall, the postponement was based on the need to reform at least electoral laws.

"And after that Summit, Morgan Tsvangirai, Tendai Biti, Welshman Ncube, all of them were called to a separate meeting by the Heads of State of SADC in the absence of Mugabe, that same evening. And they were told; I was sitting there outside the room with Mac Maharaj; they were told ‘if you go into elections next month, you are going to lose; the elections are done'.  

"And we came back on a Sunday and that Monday we had a SAPES Policy Dialogue to discuss the Summit and lo and behold, whilst we were discussing it, the court papers arrived calling the MDC to court to show reason why the elections should be postponed.  Mugabe had done a volte-face against the decision of the Summit.

"Mugabe went on TV and threatened to leave SADC – ‘who is SADC, we can leave SADC anyway'.  And so, under some pretext of a court application by Jealousy Mawarire, which others claim was really a ZANU PF ploy, the elections were held."

The full interview with Mandaza is available at

President Mugabe is pedantic to the point of being a paranoid about rules, procedures, institutions, etc. but only when they save his selfish purpose. He has disowned them with contempt the minute they get in his way.

The July 2013 elections went ahead in total disregard of the SADC leaders' recommendations and yet Mugabe wanted the same leaders to endorse the results as free and fair even though he had blatantly rigged the vote. Botswana refused to do so and demanded that the process must be audited. President Mugabe has grudgingly ignored Botswana's concerns and pretended SADC gave the process a resounding endorsement. And has ever since claimed he has the democratic mandate of the people of Zimbabwe. Of course, those in Zanu PF who helped him rig the elections know this is a lie!

Zimbabwe has fresh elections coming up next year and President Mugabe is now caught between the rock and the deep blue sea; should he defy SADC leaders again and hold elections with no reforms, there is no doubt that there will be more countries joining Botswana is demanding the process be audited. Or should he implement the reforms and face certain electoral humiliation?

It is too late now to accept implementing the reforms and yet going ahead and have another rigged elections puts him in the double jeopardy of SADC leaders refusing to accept the result and/or his cronies in the party using the rigged elections as the excuse to stage their coup. SADC leaders do not want another rigged elections but they will not consider a coup the solution either. If anything, the threat of a coup should set alarm bells ringing because this will make a bad situation even worse.

Now that there are threats of military coup against his continued tyrannical rule, Mugabe is calling on SADC to act as if he has always held the regional grouping in the highest regard and his own record in holding free and fair democratic elections is impeccable. No one is fooled, much less SADC leaders.

Zimbabwe's never ending political crisis is the root cause of the country's economic meltdown which has forced unemployment to soar to dizzying heights of 90% and left 72.3% of the population living on US$ 1.00 or less a day. Zimbabwe is on a knife edge and another rigged election next year could send the country tumbling down into the political abyss.

There has been an exodus of economic and political refugees out of Zimbabwe in the last decade. A military coup will turn the exodus into a flood!

Zimbabwe crisis has left the country sitting on a knife edge and another rigged election next year could be the final push that send the country tumbling down into the economic and political abyss. SADC leaders have the opportunity to act decisively now and remind President Mugabe and his regime that they must implement the democratic reforms necessary for free, fair and credible election BEFORE holding next year's elections.

Zimbabwe cannot afford another rigged election; there the risk of worsening economic meltdown, political instability and now a military coup, there is just too much at stake to allow another foolish gamble!

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Source - Nomusa Garikai
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