Eldred Masunungure, a Political Science lecturer at the University of Zimbabwe has said leaders in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are having a hard time over the Zimbabwean governance and human rights crisis. He cautioned however that the leaders may not directly confront the Zimbabwean leadership as the ruling ZANU PF enjoys a special status among in the region. He also expressed pessimism over the possibility of the African Union resolving the crisis before SADC declares that there is indeed a crisis. Masunungure made the remarks during an interview with Daily News on Sunday’s Consulting Editor, Constantine Chimakure. Below are the excerpts of the interview.
Chimakure: The Sadc Summit has come and gone and the Zimbabwe crisis was not part of the agenda, why is Sadc ignoring this?
Masunungure: I am not sure if ignoring the crisis is the right description. My sense is that Sadc is simply at a quandary as to what to do on a chronic crisis that has been on the … agenda for the past two decades, was partially resolved through the GPA (Global Political Agreement of 2008 which led to the formation of a government of national unity), but soon after relapsed, apparently with a vengeance.
In short, I think the regional body is at sixes and sevens on the Zimbabwe crisis. A more generous explanation is that the Sadc leaders made a pact not to wash Zimbabwe’s linen in public and instead preferred to discuss this behind closed doors after the summit.
In this case, the problem would be who would bell the cat, that is, who would be assigned to confront the traditionally stubborn Zimbabwe leadership.
Whoever was assigned the difficult task will need to tread carefully given the visceral response of the leadership so far to whoever tried to speak truth to the leadership.