The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat recently made a second visit to Zimbabwe, and seems to be satisfied with what they saw.

This visit was aimed at assessing the country’s preparedness to host the regional body’s summit this August.

The team noted tremendous improvements that had been made since the conclusion of the first mission.

A member of the secretariat team said: “Let me first of all talk about the purpose of our mission. This is the second preparatory mission that the SADC Secretariat is undertaking to assess the preparedness of the host nation to host the 44th Council of Ministers and Summit of Heads of State that will take place in August 2024.

“We have already had the first preparatory mission and during this second mission we have noted a lot of improvements and good progress.

“So, we are happy with the progress that we have noted and if everything is completed in time we are confident that we are going to have a very good Council and Summit of Heads of State and it will be a success,” said the SADC secretariat official.

The regional bloc expressed gratitude to the Second Republic for a job well done in ensuring everything is set and all necessary works are done.

“For this we would like to thank the Government of the Republic of Zimbabwe for the good collaboration with the SADC Secretariat.”

This comes on the heels of a damning SADC election observer mission report which condemned the polls that were conducted in August 2023, saying the elections failed to meet SADC guidelines governing democratic polls.

The forthcoming summit will see Mnangagwa assuming the chairmanship of SADC, a move which critics say would amount to endorsement of Mnangagwa’s 2023 election victory.

Critics are of the opinion that SADC should not give Mnangagwa the post until he solves the current political crisis in the country, which came out of the flawed elections.

However, Mnangagwa seems to have dribbled past SADC, and is likely going to be crowned the chair despite his condemned election victory.

Renowned political analyst Elder Mabhunu says Mnangagwa has indeed managed to neutralize SADC by causing divisions, demonizing Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema in the process.

Hichilema as SADC Security and Defense chairperson appointed former vice president Nevers Mumba SOEM chairperson for Zimbabwe’s August 2023 polls.

When the SADC mission report condemning Zimbabwe’s elections was produced the Harare administration accused Mumba and Hichilema of trying to cause regime change in the country.

Hichilema was labelled a western puppet.

United Kingdom based Zimbabwean lawyer and political commentator Brighton Mutebuka concurs adding that it is meaningless to think of fresh elections, saying that even if this is to happen, without reforms same results should be expected.

He writes: From his contribution here, here is my take:

  1. The SADC angle – that is long gone. ED successfully dismantled CCC via Tshabangu. He also targeted HH at SADC level & by formenting unrest domestically via Lungu.

  2. In the unlikely event that fresh elections take place, they are meaningless without accompanying fundamental electoral reforms, meaning they will yield the same or a similar outcome.

  3. Another coup is likely, but it will be extremely difficult to carry that out successfully. Unlike Bob, who was demonstrably advanced in age & showed physical frailties, ED still appears to be in relatively good nick.

  4. He’s capable of mounting a ferocious fightback, leading to a bloody & uncertain outcome, which would then plunge the whole country into chaos.

  5. The international community, including regionally, is, in any event, highly unlikely to entertain another coup.

  6. We could be confronted with a replay of the morbid Mujuru saga, where a putative or pre-emptive strike is dramatically launched by one of the two main protagonists against the other before 2028.

  7. Such an outcome would play out within the terms of para 4 above, as both parties are well matched.

  8. There’s also a good chance ED easily succeeds in extending his term beyond 2028 via a grubby deal with Ncube, Tshabangu et al.