Zuma Facilitators Return To Zimbabwe

Two weeks ago Zuma received a report on the progress of Zimbabwe political talks aimed at ending a deadlock threatening the shaky  one-year-old coalition government of President Robert Mugabe and his long-time foe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The squabbling Zimbabwe parties handed over the report to the facilitation team which in turn presented it to Zuma at his Union Building offices in Pretoria on two weeks ago.

Zuma’s country brokered Zimbabwe’s unity agreement in September 2008 under the supervision of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU).

However in an interview with Radio VOP on Wednesday from Johannesburg, Zuma’s International Adviser, Lindiwe Zulu, said  the facilitation team will be in Harare on Thursday for further engagement with the parties in the inclusive government.

“We are heading back to Harare tomorrow (Thursday) for further engagement with the parties in the inclusive government… President Zuma …wants to see closure to all the outstanding issues. We believe we are making some progress,” said Zulu.

The Zimbabwean talks have dragged on since the country’s three main political parties agreed to form a power-sharing government in February 2009.

Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe and his Zanu (PF) party of delaying democratic reforms that many western donors say are necessary before they can bail out the country with funds needed to resuscitate the country’s economy. In addition Tsvangirai also wants Mugabe to reverse the unilateral appointments of the country’s Attorney General and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor as well expediting the appointment of senior officials of his party into government including his choice of deputy agriculture minister Roy Bennett who is facing terrorism charges.

Zanu (PF) on the other hand, accuses Tsvangirai of campaigning for the imposing of sanctions and wants the Prime Minister to call on Western countries to lift the visa and financial sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle.