Monday, July 19, 2010

South African President Zuma Expected to Re-Engage Zimbabwe Talks

SW Radio Africa (London)

South Africa: Zuma Expected to Re-Engage Mugabe and Tsvangirai on GPA Issues

Tichaona Sibanda
16 July 2010

After a month's engagement with the World Cup, South African President Jacob Zuma is reportedly set to resume his SADC mediation role in Zimbabwe to try and bridge the gap between Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai.

Talks to iron out outstanding Global Political Agreement issues between Mugabe and Tsvangirai have dragged on since the two leaders agreed to join hands in February 2009 to form the coalition government.

The six negotiators from the three parties in the inclusive government concluded talks on April 3 2010 and gave their final report to Mugabe, Tsvangirai, Arthur Mutambara and Zuma as mediator.

ZANU PF has refused to implement most of the issues agreed to by the negotiators, demanding that the MDC-T calls for the lifting of targeted sanctions imposed by the west on Mugabe and senior party officials before he will do so.

But Zuma's international relations advisor, Lindiwe Zulu, said on Thursday the SADC mediator was set to return to Zimbabwe to engage the GPA leaders over the outstanding issues.

In fact Zuma was in Zimbabwe on Thursday, but on a private visit to the family of Industry and International Trade Minister, Welshman Ncube, whose father died recently. Zuma's daughter Gugulethu is married to Ncube's son, Wesley.

Zuma also briefly met Mugabe at the State house and is reported to have spoken on the phone with Tsvangirai.

Since the inclusive government was put in place last year, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara have been haggling over the implementation of the GPA with the ZANU PF leader accused of dragging his feet on the reforms. This resulted in the three declaring a deadlock which means that Zuma as facilitator has to intervene to try and narrow the differences.

Political analyst Luke Zunga told us the remaining issues are not going to be moved forward because they are at the core of Mugabe's power.

'The remaining issues are all linked to security issues. Governors are security issues, Gono and Tomana are the same, Roy Bennett is disliked by the security chiefs. All issues that remain on the GPA have to do with security matters,' Zunga said.

'I think Zuma will travel to Harare to finalise what they've agreed and what they've not. From there it will be up to him to write to SADC with his final report and recommendations of what the regional body can do to try and resolve the issue,' Zunga added.

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