14 August 2012

Zimbabwe: Zuma Is Heading to Harare to Mediate Political Crisis

Photo: Buanews
File photo: President Jacob Zuma, center, with President Robert Mugabe, right, on a previous working visit to Zimbabwe.

Regional efforts to mediate an end to the long drawn out crisis in Zimbabwe are set to intensify on Wednesday, with the arrival in Harare of the South African President Jacob Zuma.

Zuma is the SADC appointed mediator to the crisis and will be making his first trip to Harare this year. He will mediate talks between political rivals Robert Mugabe and the MDC's President Morgan Tsvangirai.

The talks, also expected to be attended by Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and Welshman Ncube, representing the other MDC formation, are yet another attempt to craft a solution for the country's political future.

A highly placed source in the MDC-T told SW Radio Africa that GPA negotiators met in Harare on Tuesday to work on the agenda and progress report to be presented to Zuma and the principals.

'Zuma's mission to Harare is basically to check on whether the parties adhered to a SADC communiqué issued on 1 June, 2012 at the end of an Extraordinary Summit in Luanda, Angola,' the source said.

After the Luanda summit, parties to the GPA were urged to finalize the constitution-making process and then subject it to a referendum.

'The Summit also urged the parties to the GPA to develop an implementation mechanism and to set out time frames for the full implementation of the Roadmap to Elections,' the communiqué said.

An election roadmap is meant to pave the way for free and fair elections, in a bid to resolve the country's protracted political stalemate.

But there has been fallout between the political parties after ZANU PF began pushing for amendments to the draft constitution that was agreed to and signed off by all parties in the GPA on 18th July.

The latest stalemate is likely to be discussed at this week's SADC summit in Maputo, Mozambique on Friday, where President Zuma is expected to present a report on Zimbabwe.

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