The Southern African Development Community has invited the three principals in Zimbabwe's troubled national unity government to attend a SADC summit opening Monday in Namibia where Harare tensions will be discussed.
SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao said in an earlier interview that Zimbabwe will be on the agenda along with other regional security issues facing the organization.
President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara will be at the summit, Harare sources confirmed. South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to hand over a report on the Zimbabwe situation to President Armando Guebuza of Mozambique, chairman of the SADC security troika.
MR. Guebuza is expected to officially table the report at the summit. Mr. Zuma in recent weeks has dispatched envoy Mac Maharaj to Harare on more than one occasion to seek resolution of the issues left outstanding when the unity government was formed in February on the basis of the 2008 Global Political Agreement.
Such vexed questions include alleged judicial targeting of officials of the Movement for Democratic Change and civic activists, President Mugabe’s failure to swear in Tsvangirai MDC treasurer and Senator Roy Bennett as deputy minister of agriculture, and long-delayed MDC provincial governor appointments, among others.
Diplomatic sources said regional leaders will also discuss Harare's rejection of a ruling by SADC's Namibia tribunal in favor of white farmers dispossessed of their properties under Zimbabwe's fast-track land reform program.
Zimbabwean Minister of State Jameson Timba, attached to the prime minister’s office, confirmed in an interview with VOA that Zimbabwe will be on the agenda when SADC meets next week. South African envoy Maharaj confirmed that Mr. Zuma will hand over a report on Zimbabwe to Mr. Guebuza at the summit that opens August 16.
Elsewhere, President Mugabe, hailed China as an all-weather friend to Zimbabwe and urged Beijing to help it revive the economy. Speaking at the Shangai Expo, Mr. Mugabe urged close cooperation between the countries. He said that Zimbabwe had benefited immensely from China’s generosity in recent years. President Mugabe left Harare for China on Tuesday to attend the trade and cultural showcase which started in May and runs through October.
Zimbabwean state media reported he will hold talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao. Economic analyst Rejoice Ngwenya commented that there isn’t much China can offer to revive Zimbabwe’s economy, arguing that China mainly sees Zimbabwe as a consumer market and as a provider of natural resources.