HARARE – President Mugabe’s party Zanu PF says the postponement of the special summit on Zimbabwe which was set for Maputo, Mozambique will not stop the country from preparing for the harmonised elections.
Regional mediators are consulting to set a date for the summit, after one scheduled for Sunday was abruptly called off on Thursday, she told reporters in Pretoria.
SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salamao this Wednesday confirmed that the special summit on Zimbabwe had been postponed indefinitely.
A new date has not been set for a regional summit to assess Zimbabwe’s readiness for general elections, South Africa’s International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said on Friday.
Zanu PF’s Secretary for Information and Publicity, Rugare Gumbo complained that though SADC is yet to give reasons for the indefinite postponement of the special summit that had been pencilled for Maputo this weekend, the development has no bearing on Zimbabwe’s preparations for elections in compliance with the Constitutional Court hearing.
Turning to other political leaders who have set conditions for the holding of elections, Gumbo said they must read between the lines that SADC understands that elections are overdue in Zimbabwe and will not continue to entertain cheap politicking meant to delay the polls.
Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said: “The date for such an extra-ordinary summit always gets decided upon by the availability and programmes of heads of state, creating space for this meeting. It’s not an ordinary, scheduled meeting.”
President Jacob Zuma – who has led SADC’s efforts to facilitate negotiations between President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party and the MDC formations was expected to present his latest report to the meeting.
Media reports on Friday suggested that Sunday’s meeting was called off because President Robert Mugabe informed SADC he would not be available for the summit.
The summit was expected to discuss a range of issues, including the cash-strapped n government’s efforts to raise a US$132m election budget.
The polls aim to end an uneasy SADC-brokered unity government between Mugabe and his rival, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, which was formed in 2009 after deadly disputed elections.