President Mugabe of Zimbabwe attended the African Union Peace and Security Council meeting held on March 10, 2011. Zimbabwe is launching a nationwide anti-sanctions campaign in this Southern African nation., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Unmasking Sadc Troika circus in Zambia
Sunday, 03 April 2011 12:01
Professor Jonathan Moyo
If regime change consultants out there thought they would get away with sending a subliminal but pointed neo-colonial message to Zimbabweans by having Livingstone in Zambia as the ironic venue of last Thursday’s summit of the Sadc Troika on politics, defence and security co-operation, then they must have been stung by the revolutionary spirits of Mbuya Nehanda and King Lobengula which took hold of the colonially named city to remind the ghost of David Livingstone that Zimbabwe will never be a colony again by ensuring that the summit failed in a big way.
The roots of this failure are to be found in the incomprehensible fact that the Sadc mandarins kept the Zimbabwean delegation led by President Robert Mugabe waiting for the whole day until 8pm when the official session was convened for no more than an hour during which the troika reported its decisions without much dialogue, which is traditionally essential for the success of such summits.
This was despite the fact that President Mugabe’s delegation had arrived the previous day after having been informed that the summit would be held in the morning on Thursday.
The unprecedented anomaly was made worse by the fact that the report of the Sadc facilitator, President Jacob Zuma, on the political and security situation in Zimbabwe, was not shared with the Zimbabwean delegation before, during or after the summit.
Against this backdrop, it is no wonder that the summit ended in unmitigated failure not least because it lacked all the necessary political features and diplomatic ingredients that usually foreshadow a successful summit.
In effect, the Livingstone summit was one of the worst Sadc meetings on Zimbabwe in recent years which set a dangerous precedent whose trappings will make it very difficult for Sadc to play a meaningful role in the unfolding events in our country unless immediate and visible steps are taken by the regional group’s highest levels to reverse the anomaly and ensure that it does not repeat.
What this means is that notwithstanding the predictable claims that the summit was a huge success by Zimbabwe’s usual detractors in the media and among regime change donors that have imposed illegal economic sanctions that are causing untold suffering among ordinary Zimbabweans, the fact is that the summit was a catastrophic failure for Sadc simply and only because the Republic of Zimbabwe cannot implement or in any way be part of any external decision which comes as an imposition to the detriment of our national sovereignty.
That we will never do as Zimbabweans not least because we know that, within the confines of international law, no other self-respecting sovereign country, including those in Sadc, will ever do.
In this connection, there is one utterly sinister decision that the Sadc Troika made in Livingstone which must not see the light of day not only because it was made without prior consultation or subsequent agreement with the Republic of Zimbabwe but also because it is a clear and evil attempt to open a treacherous window for regime change donors to trample on our sovereignty in the vain hope of influencing the organisation and outcome of the forthcoming general election.
The offensive and unacceptable decision was cast in the following words under paragraph 17(e) of the troika’s communiqué issued last Thursday: “The troika of the organ shall appoint a team of officials to join the Facilitation Team and work with the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC) to ensure monitoring, evaluation and implementation of the GPA. The troika shall develop the Terms of Reference, time frames and provide regular progress report, the first, to be presented during the next Sadc extraordinary summit. Summit will review progress on the implementation of the GPA and take appropriate action.”
This intrusive decision is a nullity not only because it is an imposition with suspicious regime change roots but also because it is a blatant violation of the GPA itself, an unacceptable affront to Zimbabwe’s sovereignty. While some sell-outs and puppets have celebrated this so-called Sadc decision as if it has come from God in heaven, the fact is that it is not worth the paper it is written on because it cannot be implemented without the willingness and co-operation of the Republic of Zimbabwe.
If there is anybody out there in Sadc or elsewhere that imagines that the Republic of Zimbabwe will cooperate in implementing a decision that attacks its sovereignty, then that person is a lost cause because nothing of the sort will happen. Ask any student of public policy and they will tell you that it is very dangerous for any authority anywhere to make a decision that it has no capacity to implement.
The so-called team of officials, that is proposed to join the Facilitation Team and to work with JOMIC in Zimbabwe, will need diplomatic and other facilitation by the Republic of Zimbabwe to be able to work in our country but this won’t happen, given how the decision for the team’s appointment and deployment has been made, let alone the motives thereof.
If past experiences in Zimbabwe and elsewhere are anything to go by, then nobody needs to be a rocket scientist to see that the presumed Sadc team of officials, if allowed to come into our country, will be nothing but a bunch of regime-change spies deployed to distort things and lie about Zimbabwe on behalf of the US and the EU to craft false evidence in the vain hope of making Zimbabwe a “UN Chapter VII” case while conveniently riding on Sadc’s treacherous back authored in Livingstone.
What makes this more than a sickening possibility is that, President Zuma, the Sadc facilitator on Zimbabwe who apparently made the proposal for a Sadc team of officials in a report that has thus far been kept secret from the Republic of Zimbabwe, recently authorised his representative at the United Nations to join the representatives of Nigeria and Gabon to underhandedly vote for the UN Resolution 1973 which essentially authorised the US and NATO members to individually or collectively bomb and kill Libyans under the pretext of enforcing a “no-fly zone” to ostensibly protect the very same Libyans that are now being killed by the US and NATO bombs on a daily basis.
This is very painful when you consider that the world has helplessly watched the slaughter of civilians by brutal Israel forces with US and EU support in Gaza and other Palestinian territories without anything like UN Resolution 1973 being invoked. Why have the African puppets that have supported a no-fly zone in Libya not also supported the same in the Gaza strip in the Middle East? Why is there no-fly zone in Afghanistan to protect innocent civilians that the US and NATO forces are killing like flies from the air day and night?
The nauseating logic effectively supported by South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon is that while it is indeed wrong for the government of Libya to kill civilians in pursuit of its survival, it should be right for the US and NATO forces, with Britain and France taking the leading murderous role, to allegedly defend Libyans from the self-indulgent Colonel Gaddafi by killing them.
With all due respect, and please take note that there is a lot of it, the mere fact that President Zuma of South Africa voted for the atrocities that the US and its NATO allies are committing in Libya under UN Resolution 1973 makes him an undesirable Sadc facilitator on the political and security situation in Zimbabwe. Zuma can no longer be trusted if he ever was.
Are we to believe that any rebel group or treacherous political party that wants to kill civilians or any government that wants to kill its own people or any country that wants to sell out another country or any former colonial power that seeks regime change in its former colony must use the UN to outsource the killing of innocent people to the US and its NATO allies as has happened in the Libyan case? Is that what regional bodies such as Sadc, African Union and the UN have become: conduits of regime change politics and mass killings by former colonial powers that want to plunder our natural resources?
Let's face it. President Zuma is now tainted beyond recovery by the Libyan situation and his commitment to the African cause has become as questionable as South Africa's suitability for a permanent seat at the UN Security Council.
The same applies to Nigeria. While Africa cannot be expected to support South Africa and Nigeria to become permanent members of the UN Security Council given their treachery in Libya where the least they should have done was to abstain from the vote as did Brazil, China, India, Germany and Russia; Zimbabwe cannot be expected to accept an intrusive Sadc team of so-called officials funded by regime change donors to come and work in our country to plot the so-called electoral roadmap with a view to ensuring that the forthcoming general election is decidedly organised in a manner that ensures regime change with President Zuma’s endorsement simply because he has been used to make the ridiculous proposal. We will not allow that to happen. Never ever!
And let those who are entertaining this folly remember that, unlike Libya or even the likes of Tunisia and Egypt whose violent protestocracies have excited idle minds in our country, Zimbabwe got its independence whose 31st anniversary we are celebrating in two weeks only in 1980 and that the combatants who won that independence are not only still alive but also that their critical mass occupies critical space in key sectors of the State.
These comrades know the caves, mountains and township spots from which to defend their liberated motherland without using any air power. Zimbabwe was not liberated from the air but from the ground. And this ground of ours which we shall forever control as liberated sons and daughters of the soil is the one terrain we know only too well. If you ask Americans about their ill-fated campaign in Afghanistan, they'll confirm that he who controls the ground through the caves, the bushes, forests and the mountains is far better than he who is exposed in the air with all his his hi-tech weapons to “awe and shock” while God is watching it all. There’s therefore no need for anyone whether in Sadc or elsewhere to play neo-colonial games here on behalf of imperialists who are seeking illegal regime change through their puppets in the MDC.
Zimbabweans expect Presidents Zuma, Hifikepunye Pohamba of Namibia and Armando Guebuza of Mozambique to know this only too well because Zimbabwe’s current onslaught from imperialists in the US, the EU and their allies also mirrors theirs if not today certainly tomorrow.
Back to the offensive communiqué of the Sadc Troika issued last Thursday, what was unacceptable about it was not only its decision to appoint a foreign team of officials who are for all intents and purposes
Western spies to join JOMIC without consultation or agreement with the Republic of Zimbabwe but also the expectation that our country would implement a decision it did not make. What is even more infuriating is the fact that this unacceptable decision which cannot be implemented was made without consultation or agreement with the Republic of Zimbabwe on the basis of the following three equally unacceptable background findings made by the Sadc Troika without any foundation whatsoever.
In the first place, paragraph 14 of the troika’s communiqué says that “the summit appreciated the frankness with which the report was presented by the Sadc facilitator and commended him for the work that he has been doing on behalf of Sadc”. It is preposterous in the extreme for the Sadc mandarins to describe as “frank” a report that was kept away from the Zimbabwean delegation before, during and after the Livingstone summit.
Furthermore, it is mischievous in the extreme to claim that a report that was presented under patently opaque and disrespectful circumstances in apparent pursuit of opaque Western interests was done on behalf of Sadc. No sane person should expect the Republic of Zimbabwe to implement alleged Sadc recommendations based on a report whose authorship and contents are not known. We know the difference between dictatorship and facilitation and we are determined to resist the latter.
In the second place, paragraph 15 of the troika’s communiqué says that, “summit recalled past Sadc decisions on the implementation of the GPA and noted with disappointment insufficient progress thereof and expressed its impatience in the delay of the implementation of the GPA”. Wow, this is very rich in a sick way!
What delay in the implementation of the GPA? It is a shame that the Sadc communiqué makes a bald generalisation over a matter that is crying for specifics. The GPA commits its signatories, Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations, and its guarantors — which are Sadc and the AU — to seek the removal of the illegal and evil economic sanctions. Has that been done? Who is responsible for the delay in implementing this fundamental pillar of the GPA whose non-implementation has caused untold suffering among ordinary Zimbabweans?
Sadc undertook to set up a ministerial team to engage the Western countries that imposed illegal and evil economic sanctions against Zimbabwe to remove them. Does President Zuma, who has occasionally spoken out forcefully against these biting sanctions imposed with the support of the MDC and which have not been removed, expect the world to now pretend that the illegal and evil economic sanctions are no longer an issue in Zimbabwe even though they have not been removed? How can the GPA be fully implemented when the illegal and evil economic sanctions remain with no roadmap towards removing them?
Who is fooling who on this matter? If it is true that Sadc has lost its impatience in the delay of the implementation of the GPA, so have the people of Zimbabwe who now think that Sadc sups with the devil by saying one thing during the day and doing the opposite at night.
In the third place, paragraph 16 of the communiqué of the troika says, “summit noted with grave concern the polarisation of the political environment as characterised by, inter alia, resurgence of violence, arrests and intimidation in Zimbabwe.”
Now, if there’s a resurgence of violence, why should there not be any arrests? Are arrests not a logical consequence of any resurgence of violence? Surely violence should beget arrests! And if there’s a political party, such as the MDC, which instigates violence to get international attention and then uses that as a political manifesto for the forthcoming general election, should the law enforcement agencies fold their arms and play politics by not arresting the obvious culprits for fear that Sadc and other Western puppets will cry foul by alleging that there’s intimidation or selective arrests and prosecution?
Is it now Sadc policy at the behest of its facilitator, President Zuma, that the MDC should violate the laws of Zimbabwe with impunity such that its officials or Cabinet ministers should be treated as if they are diplomats who cannot be arrested under the Geneva conventions? What’s going on here and what geopolitical nonsense is this?
Already the US and EU regime change donors have put together a dossier of political violence in Zimbabwe in 2011 whose catalogue has gory pictures and images not only taken from the brutal violence committed in KwaZulu Natal in South Africa between 1994 and 1999 but also used before by the US, EU and their allies to justify illegal and evil economic sanctions against Zimbabwe. It is a shame that
President Zuma, who happens to be from KwaZulu Natal, is falling for this over-used trick when he is in a position to know better.
The way that the Sadc Troika is behaving on the Zimbabwean situation against the backdrop of how South Africa, Nigeria and Gabon voted with the African enemy on UN Resolution 1973 against Libya, shows beyond doubt that the time has come for a major rethink in Zimbabwe on who our friends are or should be. Just because someone is your neighbour does not make them your friend. Cuba and the US are neighbours, but they are not friends. But of course Zimbabwe prefers to be friends with everyone anywhere, especially those countries with which it shares its borders, yet it takes two to tango.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe should start seriously considering the fact that the only countries whose national security is assured today fall only in two categories. One category is made up of countries with weapons of mass destruction which have the capacity to wage nuclear or biological warfare. The US, EU and their allies will always think twice before instigating regime change or enforcing no-fly zones in such countries.
The other category is made up of countries that have defence pacts with countries that have a capacity for nuclear or biological warfare as more or less exemplified by the India-US defence pact signed in 2005.
Following the Livingstone Sadc Troika on Zimbabwe and the African vote on Resolution 1973 against Libya, it has become very clear that Zimbabwe's national security interests do not lie in Sadc or AU pacts given the Judas Iscariot fact that is now rampant in the region and the continent. The time to forge strategic partnerships that really matter in today’s geopolitics has come. The summit in Livingstone was an early warning signal for our country to move rapidly to make defence pacts with real friends with real power.
The Sunday Mail