New broom at AU Commission is an old hat on Zimbabwe's Crisis - Dr Nkosaza Dhlamini-Zuma
So SADC did not find it necessary to present, nor did the African Union at its weekend Summit find the need ask for a review the process that it initiated in Zimbabwe on the 1st of July 2008 at Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt.
The AU’s resolution four years ago expressed deep concern about the prevailing situation in Zimbabwe as reported by SADC, African Union and the Pan-African Parliament observers of the Presidential run-off election, which included violence and loss of an estimated 500 lives.
The resolution on Zimbabwe aimed to prevent further worsening of the situation and to create a peaceful environment, and it called on the political leaders of Zimbabwe to initiate dialogue to promote peace, stability, democracy and reconciliation.
It recommended that SADC mediation efforts should continue and that SADC should establish a mechanism on the ground in order to seize the momentum for a negotiated solution.
The resolution ended by stating that in the spirit of all SADC initiatives, the AU remained convinced that the people of Zimbabwe would be able to resolve their differences and work together once again as one Nation, provided they received undivided support from SADC, the AU and the world at large.
The moment was seised and a negotiated transitional government was set up. But the inclusive government has only been inclusive in name, with the Zanu (PF) side of the government doing what it wants, its ministers not respecting the Prime Minister and not even presenting their reports to him.
Policies are implemented on the basis of the party that controls the particular portfolio, so if it is something to do with water you find the MDC Minister, supported by other MDC ministers, MPs and councilors, and if it’s about defense you find the Zanu (PF) Minister, supported by other Zanu (PF) security ministers, MPs, and Generals who have pledged allegiance to Zanu (PF) and the President, but not to the Prime Minister.
The Zanu (PF) side has allocated mining rights to lucrative diamond mines to its own people, and to soldiers who are loyal to Zanu (PF), thus creating a parallel government, bent on out-maneuvering the MDC side of government in everything they do.
The MDC is also running its own ministries, which are mostly service delivery ministries, so it caters for everyone, whether its water, health, or education, and there is no room for politicising these ministries, so Zanu (PF) inevitably always comes out on top because of the control it has of the security apparatus, the land and the minerals.
The MDC however has the support of the people and, try as Zanu (PF) might to win back the people’s hearts, it is failing and increasingly resorting to violence and abuse of state institutions, including the judiciary, the police, soldiers and a massive state intelligence apparatus with an unlimited budget and unlimited jurisdiction.
With the escalating persecution of human rights violations, the MDC has been complaining to SADC to no avail; its members continue to be murdered, its rallies disrupted by soldiers on Zanu (PF) orders, and its rural supporters denied emergency food relief because they are not Zanu (PF) members.
Jacob Zuma has been sending his team, but never coming to Zimbabwe himself to hear first-hand accounts of what is going on. He is just hoping that the parties will resolve their differences, no matter how long it takes, but the country itself is going down with all this indecision and uncertainty.
In fact continued amassing of diamond wealth by Zanu (PF) is itself another dangerous development as noted in the recent Global Witness Report. The wealth is being used directly to influence the political landscape, like the buying of 500 trucks for Zanu (PF).
But neither the facilitator nor the SADC chairman Edaurdo Dos Santos sees it necessary to raise these issues with the African Union, and the AU itself does not find any reason to ask. Or is there a conspiracy of silence?
So Zimbabwe sent a whole delegation to the Summit just to be cheerleaders for solutions to other regional problems, as if we do not have our own? Mugabe even had the audacity to demand of the AU that it should join Zimbabwe and SADC’s call for the removal of sanctions.
This is despite that the AU solution has not been implemented, and the issue has not even been put on the table. The reasons that sanctions were imposed are still there and we have not moved an inch.
Zimbabwe is now in a state of paralysis, with Zanu (PF) now concentrating on its succession problem while holding the nation to ransom and stalling the process to elections.
All indications are of a nation that is paralysed – from the capital with no water, to administrative incompetence in simple building approvals, and officers forced to admit in Parliament that they misrepresented the country’s capacity to host the world for the Word Tourism Day.
Now it’s all over the international news. We have to avoid a shambles at all cost, so we unite again, even with those who are dragging the country down to try and put on a show.
But it is still not as bad as the silence of the African Union on Zimbabwe. It is as if the only reason those delegations went there was to elect an AU Commission Chairperson – and they have elected another person who during her tenure as foreign Minister under President Mbeki did not prove to have any sense of urgency about our problems in Zimbabwe.
Let us hope she will do better than Jean Ping. But that should not be very difficult, bcause he did nothing.