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South African Mediation Team Meets With Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai's Party

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

The MDC sent a letter of complaint to Zimbabwe Broadcast Holdings Chief Executive Officer Happyson Muchechetere complaining that state media was failing to meet its obligation under the GPA to balance coverage

South African mediators working on behalf of President Jacob Zuma and by extension the Southern African Development Community met Thursday with representatives of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to discuss issues threatening the stability of Harare's national unity government.

Such issues include most prominently the resurgence of political violence in a climate of tension related to elections some anticipate may be called this year by President Robert Mugabe, and arrests of political and civic activists by authorities loyal to Mr. Mugabe.

The South African team met on Wednesday with the MDC formation led by Welshman Ncube, who succeeded incumbent Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara last month as president of the smaller wing of the former-opposition MDC, now in government.

They met Tuesday with members of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, constituted to observe compliance with the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing under which the unity government was formed two years ago.

The facilitators have also met with officials of Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF.

Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said his party's representatives and the South African delegation also discussed the conduct of the state media. The MDC says Zimbabwean state media including the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and papers led by the pro-ZANU-PF daily Herald have falsely blamed the MDC for the violence.

The party this week sent a letter of complaint to Zimbabwe Broadcast Holdings Chief Executive Officer Happyson Muchechetere complaining that state media was failing to meet its obligation under the Global Political Agreement to balance its coverage.

A copy of the letter was sent to President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara, Information Minister Webster Shamu and JOMIC.

Chamisa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the party filed the complaint because the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation has displayed open bias.

Political analyst Charles Mutasa told Jonga Kandemiiri that the best way to deal with the political crisis in Zimbabwe is for the facilitation team to push for a road-map to the next elections with reform benchmarks so that a credible government can be elected.

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