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South Africa Presses Zimbabwe Power-Sharing Leaders to Revive Stalled Talks

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

President Jacob Zuma’s facilitators were said to have expressed disappointment following their meetings with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambar

Following pressure from South African facilitators this week, principals in Zimbabwe's unity government were expected to resume discussions soon aimed at resolving the many issues troubling their power-sharing arrangement and to implement what they have agreed on, political sources said Friday.

President Jacob Zuma’s facilitators were said to have expressed disappointment following their meetings with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, given the lack of progress on the talks agenda by the Zimbabwean leaders.

Facilitator Lindiwe Zulu said her team will put together a report on the stalled dialog, which President Zuma will in turn pass on to the Southern African Development Community's troika or committee on politics.

Sources said both ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change remained firmly entrenched in their positions on a number of the issues left outstanding when the government was formed in early 2009, or which have arisen since.

Sources said the South African facilitators asked Mr. Tsvangirai’s MDC formation to consider a different assignment for Senator Roy Bennett, designated deputy minister of agriculture but never sworn in by Mr. Mugabe, but the MDC rejected the proposal. Similarly, ZANU-PF is said to have dismissed proposals that it re-assign Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono or Attorney General Johannes Tomana as a compromise.

Political analyst Dumisani Nkomo of the Bulawayo-based Habakkuk Trust told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that Zimbabweans are becoming increasingly disillusioned with their leaders for failing to move the country forward politically in the 14 months since they launched their power-sharing experiment.

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