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MDC Calls For Urgent Intervention Of Zuma

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MDC Calls For Urgent Intervention Of Zuma

Harare, February 18, 2010 – The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has appealed to South African President Jacob Zuma to help end a deadlock to on-going talks to resolve the outstanding issues threatening Zimbabwe’s shaky unity government.

Finance Minister Tendai Biti told journalists in Harare Thursday that inter-party talks aimed at resolving outstanding issues to the Global political Agreement (GPA) had completely failed.

“We are going no where on the dialogue and therefore it is very important for President Zuma and South Africa to step in and step in quickly,” he said Thursday.

Biti, who is also secretary general for the MDC, had just briefly met a visiting delegation of US congressmen at his offices in Harare.

“We as negotiators have reached our ceiling. It should be taken out of our hands. Continuing to let us negotiate we are wasting time because we have tried. We have been negotiating since the 14th of May 2007,” he said. “I think we have reached where our human capabilities can take us as negotiators. Therefore we need a bigger brain that of President Zuma and more wisdom that of SADC.”

South Africa was tasked by the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to mediate in Zimbabwe's politcal stalemate through its fomer President Thabo Mbeki and later through Zuma. The GPA led to the formation of a unity government last February but full implementation has been stalled by unresolved issues which include the appointments of Zimbabwe's Attorney General Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono.The MDC is also agitated by the continued refusal by Mugabe to swear in officials to take up the posts of provincial governors, currently occupied by Zanu PF loyalists and the swearing in of the deputy minister of Agriculture designate, Roy Bennett, currently facing terrorism charges. The MDC also wants a return of the rule of law, the freeing of the media and the constitutional reform process to take off ground.

Zanu PF has demanded the removal of western sanctions and the banning of exiled radio stations before it makes further concessions to the talks.

The European Union has further extended its sanctions against Zimbabwe by a further year while the current US delegation in Zimbabwe is assessing the progress of the fragile coalition government. President Robert Mugabe blasted the EU for its action saying, it was against the unity government.

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