SADC calls for urgent extra ordinary summit on Zimbabwe

The ministerial meeting of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation has recommended that SADC members hold an urgent extra ordinary summit to discuss the unfolding political and security situation in Zimbabwe.

The announcement was made by South African International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who chaired the ministerial meeting this afternoon in Gaborone, Botswana.

“Having considered the unfolding situation in Zimbabwe, the SADC Organ Troika recommended the convening of an urgent extra ordinary SADC [Southern African Development Community] summit and committed to remain seized by the situation.”

The Minister said in the meeting, the SADC Ministerial Organ Troika noted with great concern the situation in Zimbabwe, while they reaffirmed SADC’s commitment to the African Union Constitutive Act and SADC’s democratic principles as they relate to “unconstitutional removal of democratically elected government”.

The organ further reaffirmed the need for SADC member states to remain guided by their constitutions.

“The SADC Organ Troika calls on all the stakeholders in Zimbabwe to settle political challenges through peaceful means,” Minister Nkoana-Mashabane said.

The meeting was attended by Ministers responsible for Foreign or External Affairs from the SADC Organ Troika member states including Angola, Tanzania and Zambia.

The trioka’s announcement comes as pictures from Zimbabwe’s state newspaper, The Herald, published first pictures showing talks between President Robert Mugabe with the the Zimbabwe Defence Forces Chief Constantino Chiwenga together with the South African envoy.

The meeting was also attended by Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi and State security minister Kembo Mohadi.

President Zuma on Wednesday dispatched the Minister of Defence and Military Veterans, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula and Minister of State Security, Bongani Bongo, to Harare to facilitate the talks.

The envoy will proceed to brief Angola’s President João Lourenço as the chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.