[South Africa's] U.N. Ambassador, Dumisani Kumalo, insists that Zimbabwe is not on the agenda because the matter is being dealt with by the Southern African Development Community.
SADC leaders held a summit in Zambia that ended before dawn Sunday with a weak declaration that failed to criticize the absent Mugabe. The declaration called for the expeditious verification of election results in the presence of the candidates or their agents “within the rule of law,” and urged “all parties to accept the results when they are announced.”
South Africa has traditionally been criticized for not pushing Mugabe harder on reform, so punting the issue entirely to a regional organization seems a little suspicious. Kumalo, however, seems to recognize that such a pressing concern — the stalemate could possibly lead to the end of the Mugabe’s 28-year reign — likely can’t avoid mention at such a prominent Security Council meeting, particularly when the U.S., Britain, and France, have all indicated that they intend to discuss Zimbabwe.
‘Those are huge countries,’ Kumalo said. ‘They can raise whatever they want to raise and all I have said was that we don’t expect Zimbabwe to be discussed tomorrow (Wednesday). But they can raise anything.’
This is not just a power move by the “huge countries” of the West, of course. At a meeting dedicated to improving the UN’s cooperation with regional African organizations, it seems only appropriate to discuss how the UN, AU, and SADC can work together to ensure that Zimbabwe’s election results are determined freely, fairly, and transparently.