South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team arrived in Harare on Thursday to push for the implementation of an election road map but their scheduled meeting with negotiators representing the three parties in Zimbabwe's unity government was abandoned after Zanu-PF officials allegedly failed to turn up.
Mr. Zuma is the Southern African Development Community's appointed mediator in Harare and his team includes his spokesperson Mac Maharaj, political adviser Charles Nqakula and international relations adviser Lindiwe Zulu.
Political temperatures have been on the rise in Harare as talk of elections intensifies with Zanu-PF insisting on a June date for the polls.
The two MDC formations are pushing for security and media reforms, among others, before fresh elections are called. Efforts to get a comment from Zanu-PF representatives, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Transport Minister Nicholas Goche, were futile as their phones were switched off.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC-T representative, Finance Minister Tendai Biti told VOA that the meeting had to be abandoned after Chinamasa and Goche failed to turn up.
Ms. Zulu, who did not travel to Harare on Tuesday earlier told VOA that Mr. Zuma’s team is still pressing for reforms.
Mr. Tsvangirai’s MDC has shared power with President Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front since February 2009.
SADC brokered the power-sharing agreement after violence marred elections the previous year.