Despite the MDC saying they referred the remaining disputes over the appointment of Central Bank governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana to the group, SADC met and only dealt with the political crisis in Madagascar.
Swaziland’s King Mswati III, a recent visitor to Gono’s farm, claimed things were fine in Zimbabwe and that the grouping had received no ‘official’ complaints that required intervention. Confusing matters SADC Secretary General Tomaz Salomao announced before the summit that Zimbabwe might be discussed, since SADC Chairman and South African President Jacob Zuma had received a letter from Tsvangirai and Mutambara about the outstanding issues.
Responding to questions from journalists Zuma however muddied the waters by claiming Zimbabwe was not on the agenda of the summit. ‘If we start discussing Zimbabwe now, we will end up with headlines tomorrow as though this was what the summit was about.’ Salomao later made an apparent u-turn from his earlier statement on the letter and claimed the Joint Implementation and Monitoring Committee (JOMIC) in Zimbabwe had to decide first if it was not able to deal with the dispute, before bringing the matter to SADC.
Commenting further on the situation in Zimbabwe Mswati said; ‘We dealt with that a long time ago and things are going well so far. I went there for a visit not long ago and I saw good progress, so it’s moving on the right track.’
As he was feted at Gono’s farm, in the company of Mugabe, it’s unlikely he saw anything like the true face of suffering in Zimbabwe.
Newsreel sought comment from MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa and he told us they were not bothered by Mswati’s comments. He said as far as they are concerned they referred the matter to SADC and all they await is confirmation of when the matter will be dealt with. He refused to be drawn into a timescale saying they would not ‘dictate time to SADC’ but expected an urgent resolution of the issues outstanding. Chamisa said the MDC National Executive met Tuesday and one of their resolutions was that they pursue SADC for a response on the matter.