Call for smooth power transfer as SADC discusses Zimbabwe

South Africa's opposition Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema. FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

Leading South African opposition parties called for swift credible elections in Zimbabwe as regional bloc SADC delegates Thursday began meeting in Botswana on the political and security situation in the member state.

The Southern African Development Community is a 15-member bloc including Angola, Botswana and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Other SADC member are Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe

The Gaborone meeting was being attended by the SADC Foreign ministers.

Progressive forces

Ahead of the hastily planned Botswana talks, the South Africa opposition parties issued separate statements suggesting Zimbabwe should hold free and fair elections as soon as possible to ensure an end to politics of patronage.

The Democratic Alliance (DA) also urged SADC Council Chairperson and South African Foreign minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, to brief the country about the “crisis” in Zimbabwe‚ saying SA could not continue with its “quiet diplomacy” approach.

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader, Mr Julius Malema, said the Zimbabwean Defence Force should be encouraged and supported to lead a “non-violent” transition.

“It is high time that Zimbabwe transits to a post-Mugabe era and all progressive forces all over the world should support the transition. Further degeneration of Zimbabwe should not occur and we have an obligation to protect Zimbabwe from such‚” Mr Malema said.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) leader Bantu Holomisa called on the United Nations‚ the African Union and SADC to ensure free and fair elections by 2018.

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President Jacob Zuma Wednesday deployed a special envoy to Harare to engage with army representatives and President Mugabe.

The Zimbabwe army took control of the country, confining the country’s 93-year-old President Mugabe was under house arrest at his Harare residence.

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