Leaders of the
Southern African Development Community will meet in summit on Sunday in South Africa aiming to break the deadlock in the troubled Zimbabwean
power-sharing process, but the SADC leaders could find
themselves deeply divided as well.
Spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa of the South African Department of Foreign Affairs told VOA that the precise venue in South Africa will be decided on Wednesday.
Botswanan President Ian Khama has already taken a strong position, saying the SADC leaders should consider
an internationally supervised rerun of Zimbabwe's turbulent March presidential election
as a way to break the entrenched deadlock.
Khama said it "should be
unacceptable for ruling parties to seek to manipulate election outcomes to
extend their stay in power, as this is bad for democracy on our
African diplomatic sources said President Robert Mugabe and
prime minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai have been working the phones seeking
support from regional heads.
The diplomats said some SADC leaders want to read Mr. Mugabe the riot act and recommend the matter be taken to the United Nations Security Council.
But these sources said Mr. Mugabe is likely to find support from Mozambique, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi and Namibia. Tsvangirai could have Angola, South Africa, Tanzania, Botswana, Zambia and Mauritius in his corner,
the diplomats said.
British Minister for Africa Mark Malloch-Brown told the House of Lords Monday that while African leaders
are dismayed by Mr. Mugabe's conduct though not saying it publicly.
He said the leaders "as a whole
are in no doubt, in private conversations, about their dismay at the damage
that President Mugabe is doing to his country and the region; but, as has
always been the case, they often find it difficult to express that complaint
publicly, for fear that it would merely strengthen Mugabe’s position at home."
Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Tsvangirai told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the party is hoping SADC can
resolve the crisis without resorting to a presidential re-run.
analyst and human rights lawyer Brian Kagoro said from Nairobi that Khama's proposition for a new
round of presidential voting in Zimbabwe is viable.More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...