The Zimbabwean committee responsible for monitoring implementation of the Global Political Agreement for power sharing has expressed disappointment that the Southern African Development Community has not followed through on a summit resolution to appoint its own members of the body to promote crisis resolution in Harare.
SADC heads of state meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, last month recommended that its troika on politics, defense and security should immediately name a three-person team to work with Harare's Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, or JOMIC, to press all parties in the unity government to fully implement the GPA.
Implementation of the GPA has become diplomatic shorthand for carrying out a range of reforms required for the country to hold free and fair elections. The power-sharing pact was signed in September 2008 following extremely violent elections which resulted in a political impasse, leading to the launch of the unity government in February 2009.
JOMIC officials said SADC's delay was particularly regrettable as it wanted the team to be in place to witness the proliferation of youth militia bases allegedly being established - or in some cases re-established, as many existed in 2008 - by the former ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe.
One JOMIC member told VOA that ZANU-PF has established nearly 70 bases nationwide in which party officials purport to be giving lessons on the importance of voluntary work.
The communiqué issued at the end of the recent SADC summit stated that "the summit urged the troika to appoint representatives as soon as possible to participate in the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee.”
But SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salamão told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that the team will not work with JOMIC but will become part of South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team which has been working in Harare.
"The team has been selected by troika members including Zambia, South Africa and Mozambique. This is part of Mr. Zuma's facilitation and will only travel to Harare with Zuma's mediators," Salomão said.
JOMIC Co-Chair Thabitha Khumalo of the Movement for Democratic Change wing of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai accused SADC of moving the goalposts.