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Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai Again Urges Widened SADC Role in Political Deadlock


Tsvangirai declared this week that 'We cannot allow our nation to be trapped indefinitely by the failed policies of the past while countries around us prioritize people's rights, economic development and the rule of law'

Following inconclusive talks this week by Zimbabwe power-sharing negotiators, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change party is is urging South African President Jacob Zuma to ask the Southern African Development Community to take a more active role in the Harare political crisis.

Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told the South African Broadcasting Corporation this week that the party is losing confidence in the process, saying the negotiators for the ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe "are trying to play games. We don't have time for games. This is why we're calling on (SADC) to say let's get that agreement implemented with all its commas, full stops, chapters and verses."

Mr. Chamisa's comments followed frustration voiced by Mr. Tsvangirai in his weekly newsletter in which the former opposition leader referred to "issues that have stalled progress for more than a year."

Mr. Tsvangirai wrote: "If this situation continues, I will ask President Zuma to call upon SADC to break the deadlock once and for all. We cannot allow our nation to be trapped indefinitely by the failed policies of the past, while countries around us prioritize people's rights, economic development and the rule of law."

United Kingdom-based political analyst Phillan Zamchiya told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that Mr. Tsvangirai’s appeal to Mr. Zuma before the completion of the South African president's mediation effort signals that he is losing confidence.

Despite the MDC request for SADC intervention, Mr. Zuma's facilitators said they want to further engage the power-sharing negotiators in Harare before calling on the regional organization to intervene.

Sources said that while the negotiators met in Harare on Friday and finalized the report Mr. Zuma had requested, they remained divided over the tenures of the Reserve Bank governor and attorney general as well as the appointment of MDC provincial governors.

The negotiators were awaiting further guidance from the South African facilitators, political sources said.

It also remains uncertain whether President Robert Mugabe will implement the agreements that have been reached this week, as he reportedly has renewed his demand that Western sanctions against him and about 200 other top ZANU-PF officials first be removed.

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