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Zimbabwe Power-Sharing Talks Resume Amid Pressure from Pretoria

  • Ntungamili Nkomo

South African facilitators hope to break a deadlock arising in large part from ZANU-PF's declaration that it will make no concessions until Western sanctions on President Mugabe and others are lifted

Negotiations among Zimbabwe's three power sharing parties resumed Monday following a new round of consultations with facilitators sent by South African President Jacob Zuma, mediator in the country's political crisis on behalf of the Southern African Development Community.

The South African facilitators hoped to break a deadlock in the talks arising in large part from ZANU-PF's declaration that it will make no concessions until Western sanctions on President Robert Mugabe and others are lifted.

After meeting with the South African facilitators, negotiators for ZANU-PF and the two formations of the former opposition Movement for Democratic Change returned to the table for intra-governmental talks late Monday. But observers were skeptical as to the likelihood of progress at this point.

Representatives of the parties in the talks were not available for comment. But sources close to the negotiations told VOA that Mr. Zuma's facilitation team told the negotiators that Pretoria was becoming impatient with the protracted talks, urging them to compromise and resolve outstanding issues.

The governing partners are haggling over the appointments of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe Governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana as well as the swearing-in of MDC provincial governors and MDC Treasurer Roy Bennett as junior agricultural minister, among many other issues.

The facilitation team of Zuma adviser Lindiwe Zulu, Mac Maharaj and Charles Ngqakula was to meet Tuesday with President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

Political analyst John Makumbe of the University of Zimbabwe told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo he is hopeful Zuma’s team can break the deadlock by pressuring ZANU-PF to move matters forward regardless of the sanctions, which he said are not within the control of the MDC.

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