Khama won’t lose sleep over Morgan Tsvangirai
Morgan Tsvangirai’s poor political fortunes in Zimbabwe are not a cause for the region, and President Khama to lose sleep over. The region is seized with more serious matters . . .
I’m writing from the land of Seretse Khama, Gaborone, Botswana. It was two days ago that we saw the host President Seretse Khama Ian Khama receive the chairmanship of the regional bloc, Sadc, from President Mugabe. The chairmanship is rotational; held on a yearly basis and as we speak President Khama’s time at the helm is ticking away, second-by-second.
There is something rather interesting you may have noted with the ascension of Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
Our compatriots making the opposition party called MDC-T are said to have latched onto the opportunity to try and lobby the new Sadc chair to put Zimbabwe on the agenda, once again. It was reported in the opposition Press that the party had dispatched a team to Botswana to put “Zimbabwe back in the international spotlight and Sadc is the curator on the crisis.”
We were told; “Tsvangirai and Khama are close and we will use that to great effect. It is politics and nothing personal. Mugabe has been chair for 12 months and has managed to muzzle any discussion on Zimbabwe since August last year.” A nameless official then says; “Problems in Zimbabwe will affect the region as a whole and we must keep reminding them. The 2013 elections were stolen but still Sadc endorsed it in the hope that things might change but we are worse off.”
Now, let me admit that we have not seen such a delegation from the MDC or a Nyanguwo who is purported to have led the mission.
Even the media here has not reported on the same. Maybe the guys were lurking in the shadows. You may want to bet your bottom pula that President Khama did not entertain these chaps, if at all they came. Besides, he must have been too busy with the business of hosting thousands of delegates including a dozen or so of his counterparts.
You may guess that even if Tsvangirai himself had come, he would not have elicited the scantiest attention. But those are merely logistical issues that would have kept Ian Khama from seeing Tsvangirai, his likeness or subaltern. The bigger reason is that the new Sadc chair won’t have any reason, time or willpower to be dragged into unnecessary opposition politics of a party that has failed at home and now seeks the attention of the region.
Sadc successfully steered Zimbabwe from a political crisis since 2007 and that role ended with the conducting of free and fair elections in July 2013 which were won by President Mugabe and his party, Zanu PF.
From there, Zimbabwe was duly removed as an agenda item, and it is unlikely that it will return any time soon. President Jacob Zuma of South Africa put it very well at the 33rd Sadc Summit in Malawi in August 2013 when he said the region had done its bit. Every sane person knows that it did. Equally, every sane person knows that the elections held in July 2013 put the legitimacy of President Mugabe and sovereignty of Zimbabwe beyond question.
It is the same elections that consigned Tsvangirai into the political dustbin, where he is frantically trying not to degrade, though. It is facile for Tsvangirai to tell us that Sadc endorsed the last elections grudgingly and hoped things would change. That is very stupid an argument, which noone who is compos mentis can buy. It shows that Tsvangirai has a low opinion of Sadc and much worse, President Khama.
I’m sure that Ian Khama will be offended. He should be, if he has the time. Right now, it would appear that he is seized with more important regional and international issues.
In his addresses here he sounded the important statesman that he should be as he talked about the regional industrialisation agenda that he is taking over from President Mugabe. He talked about regional integration, industrialisation, poverty alleviation, climate change, peace and stability. He challenged Sadc to remain an African beacon.
He also charged the region to stand up to international questions of the day from sustainable development to terrorism. From the tone he has set, it is clear that he won’t be distracted by non-issues and nonentities such as Morgan Tsvangirai. Besides, it is simplistic of Tsvangirai to think that even if Khama may be sympathetic to him politically and has appeared to support him previously, he may bulldoze the region, at worst, or at best, smuggle the woes of a failing opposition in one of 15 countries in the region, onto the agenda.
Sadc conducts its businesses in a systematic and measured manner and its programmes are shaped by an agreed agenda. The region does not bend to the whim of a single leader, be it chairman.
(One may also argue that the so-called close relationship between Tsvangirai and President Khama apparently honed by mutual friendship with the USA, is a bit of an exaggeration, we dare say.)
And if the chairman of the region would smuggle an irrelevant item on the agenda, unlikely as it seems, what would the opposition in all those countries do?
To also petition the region to help them overcome ruling establishments not via the ballot?
The beauty about it is that Africa and Sadc are bound by sound non-interference ethos where little happenings in member states that do not threaten regional peace and stability.
(Zimbabwe became an item because of the humanitarian situation in the country caused by sanctions imposed by the west at the request of Tsvangirai to cause suffering and unrest.)
Morgan Tsvangirai’s poor political fortunes in Zimbabwe are not a cause for the region, and President Khama to lose sleep over.The region is seized with more serious matters relating to troublesome politics in countries such as Lesotho, Madagascar and the DRC.We expect these things to be occupying the mind of the new Sadc chairman.
We wish him all the best while at it.
Source – the herald
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