What can SADC do if Mugabe persists in thumbing his nose at its mediation?
It seems clear that Robert Mugabe and a coterie of his supporters have little intention in being bound by the current SADC mediation. Firstly, the Zimbabwe government misses more meetings in the mediation process than it does attend; not a sign of being serious. Secondly, the public pronouncements of the Zimbabwe government strongly suggest that it does not intend to take the process seriously. The president publicly states that there will be no amendments to the current constitution when discussion about constitutional change is on the agenda for discussion during the mediation. A senior minister in Mugabe’s government, Didymus Mutasa, bluntly states that attendance in the talks is merely to be polite to Zimbabwe’s neighbours.
Thirdly, the Zimbabwe government is pressing ahead with yet another constitutional amendment, and one in which Robert Mugabe will be able to remain president until 2010 unless he calls for elections before that time. The clear implication here is that Mugabe will solve the succession crisis, or at least postpone it, and that all this talk of elections in 2008 is mere smokescreen.