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Mugabe SADC Summit Remarks Amaze Political Opponents

President Robert Mugabe campaigning recently in Mashonaland Central Province
President Robert Mugabe’s opponents say they are surprised that the African Union (AU) will this Friday convene a special summit to discuss Zimbabwe’s elections.

This follows a statement by President Robert Mugabe at a campaign stop in Marondera on Monday.

Mr. Mugabe said the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations had petitioned the AU seeking the postponement of the July 31 election, adding he would be sending Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa to represent him.

But MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti told VOA Studio 7 he is not aware of any such special meeting. He says his party has not written to the AU. Equally surprised are Southern African Development Community officials.

Spokesman Nhlanhla Dube of the MDC formation led by Professor Welshman Ncube also denied claims that his party had written to the AU complaining about the election timing.

SADC mediator in Harare and South African President Jacob Zuma’s International Relations Advisor, Lindiwe Zulu, said she is also in the dark about the said AU summit.
She said diplomatically SADC would have initiated the summit, writing to the AU and all, adding this was not the case.

International Crisis Group researcher Trevor Maisiri said the AU has to inform SADC first if it intends to call a summit on Harare or any other country in the region.