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Was Mugabe humiliated in Maputo?

IMMENSE interest has been generated by the recently held Sadc summit in Maputo, with people from all walks of life debating whether President Robert Mugabe was indeed humiliated.

REPORT BY OUR STAFF

The extraordinary Sadc summit ordered Mugabe to return to the Constitutional Court (ConCourt) and seek an extension of two weeks to the July 31 date that he had unilaterally set for elections.

Analysts said the directive was an embarrassment for Mugabe who had invoked Presidential Powers, setting an election date in violation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

While some readers of The Standard online edition reacted by posting comments praising the decision, others defended Mugabe maintaining that the summit did not embarrass him at all.

One reader, who identified himself as Kufandada said Justice Minister, Patrick Chinamasa gave bad advice to Mugabe to unilaterally proclaim the election date.

“He is still being stubborn by saying that it will be up to the ConCourt to agree to extend the date. He Nicodimously instructed the ConCourt to make this judgment and must deal with it,” he said.

One Chitoporo commented that it was bad for the image of the country to “drag” their 89-year-old leader to Mozambique to get embarrassed in front of the whole of Sadc.

“This is all to do with silly little factional fights within Zanu PF, now they are dragging all of us through the mud. We now appear as illiterate fools who can’t run their own house,” wrote Chitoporo.

But John Ndebele said Sadc’s directive was no victory for the MDCs, arguing that as Parliament was due to expire on June 29, it was impossible to implement the media and security sector reforms they were demanding.

“Without Parliament is this not a vexatious, frivolous attempt to undermine the judiciary and sovereign authority of Zimbabwe?” asked Ndebele. “Is this not an attempt to get through the back door what they failed through the front door? Will the President and his party and the judiciary not see through this gimmick? What is the possibility of the Court of last instance overturning its own decision?”

But TM, another reader, said Mugabe did not expect Sadc to recommend that he goes back to the same ConCourt and seek reprieve.

“If the President wanted a clear road map to elections, he should have approached the ConCourt instead of waiting for Sadc to do so. All the current government positions are negotiated, a point that the President seems to have forgotten,” said TM.

Another reader using the name, Reason said, he fails to understand how Mugabe was humiliated.

“In fact if at all someone was humiliated it was Tsvangirai and his team, why? Because they said the ConCourt had no jurisdiction over this matter, but Sadc took note of the court ruling and referred all parties back to the same court,” wrote Reason. “Mugabe actually won and what does 14 days change? It’s pathetic that leaders who claim to represent a lot of people are celebrating a defeat.”

This view is supported by another reader who said anyone who said, Sadc never said Mugabe’s proclamation and the court order were illegal.

Tafamutekwe accused politicians of taking delight in causing people great discomfort every day.

“Zimbabweans are literally hostages to these politicians. This is why people are hoping for the best from these Sadc mediation efforts because truly speaking, the only people who will benefit from these rushed elections is the corrupt oligarchy,” said the reader.

“In 2008 the Chief Justice proclaimed Mugabe the rightfully elected President, after his one man bloody election run-off race. The rest as they say is history. So much for your blind faith in this politically constituted and inspired ConCourt.”

Another reader responded that MDC people were “jumping up and down as if they won anything.”

“That Sadc statement is not an order. It means absolutely nothing to the ConCourt,” wrote the reader.

Justice, another reader, said even if elections were held now there was no guarantee that Mugabe would win.

“Unless if you want to tell me the rigging rumours we are hearing are true,” he said.

Liumbez wrote that the Sadc directive “serves this old man right.”

“We deserve better leadership. Right now we are struggling in other people’s countries while our beloved country burns all in the name of power. Credible elections are the way to go,” said Liumbez.

One Wiltshire said while people can analyse and scrutinise the directive, the world and the continent’s tolerance of dictators has evaporated.

“Robert [Mugabe] should not just trick his way to power. He has to bear in mind the tricks after the power may run out. Full blown economic embargoes can halt him. Plus many other consequences he thinks he can avoid.

He thinks he is a Machiavelli, but even Mubarak or Gaddafi thought they were, until the winds of change came to their door steps,” wrote Wiltshire.
Mzilikazi, another reader, said Sadc was still toothless despite its directive.

“They are scared of Mugabe, they gave us a raw deal. Mugabe will still benefit. Remember voter registration is almost halfway but few people have been registered, and the large majority is being denied their Constitutional right,” said Mzilikazi.

‘REFORMS ARE POSSIBLE IN TWO WEEKS’

Gutter Poet said reforms could be fast tracked like what happened to the Constitutional Referendum.

“Let’s get on with the real issues at hand: building back our lost glory. Remember the greater number of people out there are neither Zanu PF nor MDC,” wrote the poet. “They are just Zimbabweans who would like to live in a normal society and they wouldn’t care one way or the other who is the President of this country, but what he will he do for them. How would the two major parties which should know better halt the progress of a whole country because of their petty differences?”

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