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Southern African Regional Group to Seek Resolution of Latest Zimbabwe Crisis


With Zimbabwe's national unity government seemingly breaking down, the Southern African Development Community's troika or committee on security and defense has called a meeting in Harare next week to seek a solution to the impasse over power-sharing.

Sources confirmed that meeting is set for Oct. 29 - one week from Thursday - in Harare.

The scheduling of the SADC troika session followed talks Tuesday in Chimoi, Mozambique, between Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, currently chairman of the troika, about Mr. Tsvangirai's decision late last week to suspend cooperation with the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe.

That decision came after judicial authorities under the influence of ZANU-PF indicted Senator Roy Bennett of Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change formation on terrorism charges and revoked his bail, placing the MDC treasurer in a Mutare remand prison. The former white farmer has since been released, but still faces trial in High Court.

Mr. Tsvangirai cited numerous other alleged ZANU-PF breaches of the 2008 Global Political Agreement upon which Zimbabwe's so-called "inclusive" government is founded.

The SADC troika includes Swaziland and Zambia. South African President Jacob Zuma is also going to to take part in the Harare talks given Pretoria’s longstanding mediating role.

Tsvangirai met Wednesday with Mr. Zuma in Cape Town, South Africa. Zuma spokesman Vincent Magwenya said the South African president is very concerned at the crisis in Harare and wants to make sure Zimbabwe does not slide back into instability.

SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salamao confirmed the troika meeting in an interview with reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe..

Tsvangirai spokesman James Maridadi said outstanding issues including future management of the central bank will be high on the troika agenda.

ZANU-PF Secretary for Administration Didymus Mutasa, a minister of state in President Mugabe’s office, said his party will not waste its time lobbying regional leaders.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera predicts the troika will do no more than urge the MDC to reconsider its disengagement from ZANU-PF.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...

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