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South Africa to Step Up Zimbabwe Mediation as Tempers Flare in Harare


Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma

ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai are already trading barbs over the swearing-in of provincial governors and the contentious sanctions issue

South Africa says it will step up its mediation efforts in Zimbabwe amid rising tensions in the inclusive government over a range of longstanding issues.

This comes a few days after a Southern African Development Community summit of heads of state and government adopted a report many expected would unblock Harare’s political logjam.

Mediator president Jacob Zuma of South Africa, in his report to the summit, said the three principals in the inclusive government had agreed on 24 of the 27 outstanding issues and had even agreed on an implementation matrix.

But ZANU-PF and the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime minister Morgan Tsvangirai are already trading barbs over the swearing-in of provincial governors and the contentious sanctions issue.

Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, negotiator for ZANU-PF in power-sharing talks, told his party’s politburo Thursday that governors would be sworn-in concurrently with the removal of sanctions.

Chinamasa said Mr Tsvangirai was still to fulfill his obligations under the Global Political Agreement to lobby the West to lift the so-called targeted sanctions against president Robert Mugabe and members of his inner circle.

The MDC hit back in a statement Thursday saying the sanctions are a bilateral issue between ZANU-PF and those who imposed them on grounds of a “deficit of good governance.”

Mr Tsvangirai has already written to lead South African facilitator Mac Maharaj complaining about Mr. Mugabe’s demand that the swearing-in of MDC governors be tied to lifting of the sanctions.

Lindiwe Zulu, facilitator and Zuma international relations adviser, told that her team will be back in Harare soon.

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