Norton MP Temba Mliswa has claimed to have stopped SADC from deploying troops to Zimbabwe during the military-assisted transition of 2017 that propelled President Emmerson Mnangagwa to power.
Mliswa told journalists that he stormed a SADC Troika meeting that was being held in Botswana to decide on the region’s response to an unexpected military takeover in Zimbabwe and convinced the leaders any external invasion was unnecessary as the people were firmly in support of what was happening. He said:
… I went to SADC in Botswana to block Troika from coming here, to tell the truth that Zimbabwe wanted a change and there was no point reinforcing an army to come here.
You know that when we were going through what we were going through, the former President Robert Mugabe was very much supported by SADC and (then South African) President (Jacob) Zuma.
They had a meeting in Botswana discussing what they could do in Zimbabwe.
I stormed in and presented our constitution, telling them of deployment of the army on national defence issues and where there is lack of law and order.
There was no point for them to do anything extra, we were working on our issues.
It was constitutional, and they were saying the army had taken over but the army had not taken over.
A SADC Organ Troika Plus Council Chairperson Ministerial meeting was held in Gaborone on 16 November 2017 to consider the situation in Zimbabwe then but no other action besides recommendation to uphold the constitution was taken.
Following the army’s operation restore legacy, the late former president tendered his resignation letter. He later said that he had no choice but to resign, to “prevent bloodshed” suggesting that he resigned under duress.
–The Zimbabwe Mail