SADC-appointed facilitator for the Zimbabwe dialogue, South African President Jacob Zuma, is expected to inform the Sadc Ordinary Summit of Heads of State and Government that his mediation role in the country has ended following the successful holding of elections on 31 July, South African media have reported.
The 33rd Ordinary Summit of Sadc Heads of State and Government is slated for Lilongwe, Malawi, from 17 to 18 August.
The development is in line with the conclusion by Sadc chairperson and Mozambican President Armando Emilio Guebuza in his congratulatory message to President Mugabe indicated that Zimbabwe held its elections in conformity with the Sadc guidelines and principles.
“Your victory and that of Zanu-PF in a landslide manner at the 31st July 2013 harmonised and Sadc rules-based elections create the conditions for striking your great country out of the Sadc Agenda, as a stand-alone political item,” said President Guebuza.
City Press of South Africa quoted a close source to President Zuma saying Pretoria was happy with the successful holding of harmonised elections in Zimbabwe hence there was no need to continue mediating.
“As far as South Africa is concerned, we have ended mediation in Zimbabwe,” City Press quotes an unnamed source.
The report added that Sadc was expected to put pressure on Western countries that imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe to remove them.
“We want to keep Zimbabweans in Zimbabwe and the country must be able to feed its people. If there are sanctions, it leads to more people fleeing because of the economic conditions.”
If the report is anything to go-by then this would fly in the face of the MDC-T that intends to lobby the regional bloc to set aside the elections results and endorse the formation’s call for fresh polls.
Botswana also stands to be embarrassed as it is the only country in Africa that claimed there was need for an audit of the elections in line with the calls by MDC-T and its Western backers among them the United States, Britain and Australia.
Zanu-PF has also made it clear that there was no more need for President Zuma to continue mediating.
“We have won the elections as Zanu-PF and President Mugabe’s landslide has actually put an end to facilitation, hence there is no need for facilitation in Zimbabwe anymore because the elections went well,” said party spokesperson, Cde Rugare Gumbo last week.
“In fact, I will not be surprised if President Jacob Zuma notifies the Sadc summit in Malawi next week about the issue because we held polls which were very peaceful, free and fair.”
Almost all the election observer missions to the 31 July polls endorsed the polls as free, fair and credible but to the surprise of many, MDC-T, Botswana, Britain, United States and Australia sang a different tune.
This is despite the fact that several Heads of State and Government from across the world have congratulated Zimbabweans for conducting a peaceful, free and fair election.
The MDC-T has since approached the Constitutional Court seeking nullification of the election results while calling for fresh polls within the next two months.
President Mugabe romped to victory winning 61,09 percent vote in a peaceful plebiscite that also saw Zanu-PF surpassing a two thirds majority in Parliament.
Mr Tsvangirai polled 33,94 percent while MDC leader Professor Welshman Ncube accounted for 2,68 percent of the vote.
Zapu leader Dr Dumiso Dabengwa, and Zimbabwe Development Party president Mr Kisinoti Mukwazhe only managed 0,74 percent and 0,29 percent respectively of the total valid vote.