Mugabe Says Meeting With Zuma Went Well

“It went very well as usual,” said Mugabe when asked how the meeting went by journalists.

Zuma is in Zimbabwe to try and end Zimbabwe’s political crisis which is as a result of failure by parties in the inclusive government to implement fully the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by the three leaders of Zanu PF and the two Movement for Democratic Change formations.

The MDC led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has asked the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to intervene and help solve the political impasse. MDC is demanding the appointment of a new Attorney General to replace the current Johannes Tomana and a new Reserve Bank Gvernor chief to take over from the incumbent Gideon Gono. It also wants their treasurer general, Roy Bennett, on trial for terrorism charges acquitted and sworn in as deputy minister of Agriculture. Zanu PF, on the other hand, wants sanctions on Zimbabwe to be removed and the banning of exiled radio stations.

SADC tasked South Africa to mediate in the Zimbabwe crisis after the 2008 elections which saw, for the first time, parliamentary majority seats being won by the opposition. Tsvangirai, widely believed to have won the Presidential election, however, refused to participate in the run-off election, due to political violence. SADC, through Thabo Mbeki, the former South African President, brokered a deal which resulted in the formation of a new unity government last year.

Zuma, who take over from Mbeki when he took over as South Africa president early last year, has already suggested an early election for Zimbabwe as a way of solving the outstanding issues.

 However the holding of elections in Zimbabwe is largely dependent on a new constitution. However the constitutional process has been fraught with delays and infighting. There have also been reports of violence with villagers being threatened against contributing to the process as Zanu PF wants the current constituitional document adopted in Kariba by the three parties in the inclusive government. The two MDCs want the people to contribute to the document before it is put to a referendum. Civic society members have been threatened with death if they go into rural areas to educate people about the constitutional reform process.

Some western nations have extended sanctions on Zimbabwe citing continuing human rights abuses and lack of rule of law.