- Zimbabwe’s burning political issues in the unity government may have to hold a few more weeks while the Southern African Development Community (SADC)’s leadership change the baton at the Kinshasa Summit.
South Africa is handing over the chair to the Democratic Republic of Congo, as President Joseph Kabila takes over from President Jacob Zuma.
The move has been one of the top worries of the opposition as Mr Kabila has long been as a close ally of President Robert Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party.
The Zimbabwean unity government, formed in February this year after months of hitting detours has recently been experiencing some hitches with the parties seeking several SADC interventions.
However, both Mr Kabila and Mr Zuma have assured that the transition will not affect the route that was already taken by the regional bloc on Zimbabwe, further hoping the issues will be speedily resolved.
The SADC heads have now opted for another special summit to deal with Zimbabwe in less than a month where all sides will be called back to the round table and probably be reminded of their commitments made in February this year.
Zimbabwe has been a constant thorn in the regional peace, security and stability since the institutional and governance collapse in the country late last year. Major obstacles have emerged in the appointments of senior and strategic positions for the functioning of government institutions such as the Central Bank and the Attorney General.
Speaking in at the opening today, Mr Zuma urged Zimbabwe's political parties to remove obstacles hindering the implementation of the February agreement, while also reaffirming SADC’s continued to support to Zimbabwe’s political well being.
"Just as SADC has stood with the people of Zimbabwe in the search for a solution to the challenges facing the country, it remains committed to working to encourage further progress. We urge all parties to remove any obstacles to the implementation of the agreement," Mr Zuma said.
Meanwhile, the SADC heads are also expected to focus on Madagascar as the country’s leadership has continued to fail to reach a compromise on who should lead the processes aimed at returning the country back to democratic rule.
The Malagasy leadership agreed on the formation of the unity government at the recently international and SADC-AU led peace talks in Maputo, but not much has materialised since the four main players differed on the positions of the presidency, deputy as well as the prime minister, the last post having now been agreed on a compromise.
A political agreement signed on 9 August in Maputo had brought a new hope in end the political crisis that has marred Madagascar since the beginning of the year. The agreement would give the country’s transitional government at least 15 months to level the playing fields in the country and ensure a smooth return to democratic order.
The four main political players, Marc Ravalomanana, Andry Rajoelina and the former presidents Didier Ratsiraka and Albert Zafy had until 4 September to agree on the power sharing mode.
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