The SADC Resolutions on Zimbabwe were not such a false start after all. In fact Armando Guebuza's chairmanship, with Jakaya Kikwete at the Organ Troika, promises to bring a final solution.
After debate and following presentations from all the principals to the Zimbabwean crisis and a report of the Troika, the SADC Heads of States resolution to reaffirm all previous decisions of the Troika and SADC Summits on Zimbabwe was very significant.
But it needs to be unpacked and presented again to SADC to show that if SADC does indeed abide by these resolutions it should be censuring someone for the failure to implement, or at the very least, identifying the parties responsible for failure to implement.
The second resolution, a routine pat-on-the-back for the parties for almost concluding the Constitution negotiations, failed to seize the opportunity to make a ruling on the current stand-off, whether Zanu (PF) can indefinitely continue watering down the constitution to suit its own succession problems, which is what the stand-off is all about.
It needed an outsider like SADC to make a ruling, because Zanu (PF) is in fact holding the whole nation to ransom by insisting that the All-Stakeholders Conference can only be held after it is satisfied with the draft.
Thirdly the Heads urged the parties "develop a road-map together with time-lines that are guided by requirements of the processes necessary for the adoption of the constitution of conditions for free and fair elections to be held."
If we ignore the poor phrasing this resolution, we find it puts the MDC in a much stronger position to actually outline the steps that are necessary and the conditions that have to be met if Zimbabwe is going to hold elections before the October absolute deadline - if the coutry is to remain constitutional.
The MDC should develop these speedlily and present them to the facilitation team for ratification, to have these steps (matrix) interpreted as part of this resolution and get SADC to commit to ensuring the implementation of the matrix.
The fourth resolution for the parties to establish a mechanism in Cabinet that will ensure coordination and the implementation by the Ministries/departments of those parts of the agreements that talk to their line functions to ensure smooth implementation and that SADC, through the Facilitator, must be kept informed of the implantation mechanism, also strengthens the MDC's hands.
It also says they must establish the implementation mechanism that was proposed by the Luanda Summit, something which it seems the MDC has hitherto failed to capitalise on, because Luanda actually called for full implementation of all outstanding issues, but the MDC has not highlighted to SADC the total failure to implement and hold zanu (PF) accountable.
The fifth resolution which urged the parties to immediately strengthen JOMIC in terms of the Livingstone decision, so that the SADC team can assist, on a regular basis, in the advancement and consolidation of the work of that committee and help create an atmosphere conducive to the establishment of a level political field, leading to a free and fair election, also strengthens the MDC.
But it needs the MDC to increase its advocacy and expose how these conditions are not being met by Zanu (PF). We have not heard any load clamouring by the MDC for the SADC JOMIC representatives to be appointed and start working. There have been reports that they are in the country, then they are not, but nothing from the MDC.
The sixth resolution which commits SADC to assisting the parties in every way possible to reach a position where a credible election enables Zimbabwe to set out on the road to stability and progress, should also be unpacked by the MDC in proposals for what SADC needs to do, up to and including providing a police or military force if necessary.
The resolution said if there are any difficulties with regard to the constitution and implementation of agreements, the facilitator is called upon to engage with the parties and assist them resolve such issues, bearing in mind the time-frames and the necessity to hold free and fair elections.
This sounds like a very clear license to go and camp in President Jacob Zuma's office until he delivers. Failure to take this up will be squarely of the shoulders of the MDC.
The facilitator and the chair of the Troika were also told to engage on the Zimbabwe issues with the three political parties to the GPA through their Presidents and Principals, namely President Robert Mugabe, (ZANU PF), Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC T) and Professor Welshman Ncube (MDC), which clears the air about Mutambara.
The Maputo Summit was indeed a milestone, but it puts the ball squarely in the court of the MDC.