President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his deputy Arthur Mutambara will join leaders from the rest of the world to welcome the football festival to South Africa. All leaders from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are expected to attend the official opening.
South African embassy insiders told Radio VOP that failure by the three principals to resolve outstanding issues might force Zuma to convene a meeting with the three leaders.
“Foreign office in South Africa has informed us that plans are at an advanced stage to make sure President Zuma and members of his facilitation team get time from their busy schedule to engage the Zimbabwe leaders who will all be in Johannesburg on Friday.
“President Zuma as facilitator, is worried that the continued delay in resolving the outstanding issues is deliberate on the part of the principals especially Mugabe who seems to be comfortable with the current situation. President Zuma is aware that Mugabe and Mutambara want to delay the process as much as possible because they don’t want to face elections next year.
“The president is likely to rope in other regional leaders to an extent that it will probably end up as an emergency SADC summit. The whole region is worried with the happenings in Zimbabwe and the World Cup has presented the best opportunity for progress in Zimbabwe,” said the embassy official.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai have been haggling over outstanding issues in the GPA since the inclusive government was put in place last year.
Mugabe is arguing that he will not move an inch until sanctions imposed by the West are removed and also until radio stations operating from outside Zimbabwe stopped broadcasting.
Among other things, Tsvangirai wants provincial governors sworn in, he wants deputy minister of agriculture designate Roy Bennett sworn in and also wants a review of the appointments of the Reserve Bank governor and the Attorney General.