Zuma Appoints New Diplomat To Harare

Diplomatic sources told VOP on Monday Mavimbela is due to start his mission in Harare on Friday 25 March, 2011.

He replaces Mlungisi Makhalima whose tour of duty diplomatic sources said has come to an end.

Makhalima has been Zuma’s point-man in Harare for the past two years as the South African leader battled to find a solution to the Zimbabwe crisis.

Mavimbela comes at a time when tension is high in the government of national unity as President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai wrestle for power.

President Mugabe refused the premier permission to hold a star rally in Harare over the weekend, further confirming fissures within the coalition government. Zuma’s facilitation team is due back in Harare this week in what weekend papers claimed was meant to diffuse tension in the power-sharing arrangement following heavy regional lobbying by the Prime Minister.