President Banda blamed for SADC failure to discuss Zimbwabwen crisis

Zambia’s president Rupiah Banda has been blamed for Southern Africa Development Community (SADC)‘s failure to discuss the worsening political crisis in Zimbabwe.

SADC leaders met in Botswana last Friday to open the new SADC headquarters in the capital Gaborone.

The SADC organ on Politics, Defence and Security is currently chaired by president Rupiah Bnada.

The organ was supposed to meet before the official opening of the new SADC headquarters to discuss problems that have threatened to split Zimbabwe’s shaky coalition government.

But the chairman, Zambia’s president Rupiah Banda did not show up. The organ therefore did not meet.

Botswana’s Foreign Affairs minister Phandu Skeleman has been quoted saying that because this crucial meeting failed to take place, leaders asked President of South Africa Jacob Zuma to go to Zimbabwe where he would hold talks with the three leaders of the coalition government.

Zimbabwean media reported that the Zimbabwean inclusive government has been limping since President Robert Mugabe made unilateral appointments of ambassadors and judges a few months ago.

A day before the SADC meeting, president Banda was touring Brazil. Before he left for Brazil, his mouth-piece, Dickson Jere issued a statement that from Brazil, president Banda would fly to Botswana.

“After the State Visit to Brazil, President Banda will proceed to Gaborone, Botswana where he is due to chair the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Troika Heads of State Meeting of the Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation to be held on November 19, 2010.

“The following day, President Banda and other SADC Heads of State and Government, will officially commission the new SADC Headquarters in Gaborone and thereafter attend the Extra-Ordinary Summit, which has been called to discuss the political situation in the region. President Banda, as chairman of the Troika Organ, will present his first report to the Heads of State and Government Summit”’ Jere had said.

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