The present chairman of COMESA – The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa headquartered in Zambia’s capital Lusaka – Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki, has now reacted to the protracted election saga in Zimbabwe, where weeks after the elections still no results for the presidential race are made public. The Kenyan president, himself of course no stranger to recent poll disputes in his own country, has now in consultations with other key leaders in the COMESA region decided, that holding the summit meeting in Zimbabwe’s resort town of Victoria Falls at this time was not possible, and neither was it advisable to pass on the leadership baton to Mr. Mugabe, who against world opinion seems determined to hang on to the presidential office while seeking ways to manipulate the poll results from some weeks ago in his favour.

Government sources in Harare are trying to put a brave attitude to the development, which is a major slap in the face of Zimbabwe and its political establishment while there is growing evidence now, that African leaders are gradually putting some distance between themselves and the Mugabe regime. South African president in waiting Jacob Zuma was unusually outspoken and candid in media interviews over the situation in Zimbabwe, unlike the sitting South African president Thabo Mbeki, whose own reputation is now being dented over his ‘Chamberlain’ approach towards his neighbours in open disregard of the intense terror and suffering inflicted on the Zimbabwean people by its regime.