Back to Square One in Zimbabwe and the 'Obama Effect' in South Africa

By Nontando Hadebe 11-17-2008

Sunday, Nov. 9, regional leaders (SADC) held an emergency meeting aimed at resolving the political crisis in Zimbabwe 'once and for all.' The meeting could not reach an agreement and went on to the next day in an effort to break the impasse. In one of my last updates I had indicated that there were basically two choices: either to stick to the original agreement and insist that the conditions be met or retract from the agreement and come up with a compromise. The leaders chose the latter option of compromise which reduced the crisis to one ministry, namely home affairs (police and security), and called the parties to share the leadership of the ministry. The proposal was rejected by opposition party on the grounds that it was untenable and did not address the fundamental problems of power sharing as agreed upon in the deal. Mugabe threatened to go ahead and form a government without the main opposition. Friday, Nov. 14, the opposition issued a statement rejecting the SADC proposal. The political landscape has shifted and we have come back full circle -

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