Harare – Presidents Robert Mugabe and Jacob Zuma arrived on Wednesday in Harare for a South African Development Community (SADC) summit that has been overshadowed by recent xenophobic violence in South Africa.
Press reports have forecast that Zuma will have a “rough ride” when faced with regional leaders whose nationals have been killed or forced to flee in the xenophobic attacks that hit Durban and Johannesburg earlier this month.
A choir was at the hotel to serenade the arriving heads of state. Mugabe, who is the current chair of SADC, arrived at the crowded conference room soon after 10:00.
The summit has been convened officially to plan industrial growth in the region. But an official from Zimbabwe’s foreign affairs ministry Joey Bimha told the official Herald newspaper this week that the heads of state attending the summit could alter the agenda. That means that xenophobia is likely to be discussed and perhaps a resolution on the issue made.
The Herald said in an editorial on Wednesday: “What has taken place in the past few weeks goes against the spirit and letter of regional integration and people hope that it becomes an agenda item.”
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