Arthur Mutambara: SADC summit 'is a victory for the people of Zimbabwe'; Prof Arthur G. O. Mutambara, (pictured) leader of the other faction of the opposition MDC, called a press conference in Harare on 2 April to react to the decisions of the SADC summit in Tanzania. We publish below his full statement.

Author:Mutambara, Arthur G.O.
Position:ZIMBABWE: Sponsored supplement - Movement for Democratic Change - Southern African Development Community

The MDC National Executive Committee met on Saturday 31 March 2007, followed by the National Council on 1 April. The National Council considered the current national crisis. This press conference is pursuant to the discussions and resolutions of the National Council--the MDC's supreme decision-making organ in between congresses.

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On the SADC summit in Tanzania: The MDC places a lot of significance in the decisions of the SADC heads of state's emergency summit. The fact that the regional body met specifically to discuss Zimbabwe is in itself an acknowledgement of the Zimbabwean crisis and an acceptance that the despot Robert Mugabe has failed to run the affairs of our nation.

More importantly, the SADC emergency summit clearly recognised that the ongoing economic and political crisis is both unsustainable and a threat to regional stability. This is unprecedented.

The SADC position is further reinforced by the bold decision to appoint President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa as the mediator with a view to facilitating a resolution of the crisis through dialogue between Zanu PF and the democratic forces.

This is a triumph of regional sovereignty. This is a victory for the people of Zimbabwe, and Africans in general. The MDC applauds these resolutions of the SADC emergency summit and condemns the attempt by the dictatorship to underplay SADC efforts by declaring the summit a victory for the disastrous Mugabe policies that have brought suffering to the people.

Hell, no! It was neither a victory nor an excellent meeting for Robert Mugabe. It was a devastating blow to the ugly face of Zanu PF. There has been movement in attitudes and opinions among Africans with respect to Zimbabwe.

Africans no longer accept Mugabe's grandstanding as a liberation hero, freedom fighter, land revolutionary, anti-imperialist and champion of African rights. They now accept him for what he is. A despot who has become a negation of the values and principles of the liberation war, a dictator who brutalises Africans and denies them basic human rights and economic opportunities.

So what is it that the people of Zimbabwe want? It is our submission that at the core of the Zimbabwean crisis are issues of governance and legitimacy. Our country is ruled by a corrupt, incompetent, criminal, and brutal kleptocracy, which has retained power through fraudulent elections.

We do not want any further polls in our country under the current constitutional and...

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