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Little Progress to Note as Zimbabwe Unity Partners Report to South Africa's Zuma


Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma

Sources said a Tuesday meeting between the principals was tense and that Mr. Mugabe insisted he would make no more concessions until Western sanctions have been lifted and foreign radio stations ceased broadcasts

The three principals in Zimbabwe's troubled government of national unity submitted a long-awaited report on the outstanding issues troubling their power sharing arrangement to South African President Jacob Zuma, mediator in the Zimbabwe power-sharing arrangement for the Southern African Development Community.

Political sources said President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara met Tuesday in Harare to finalize the report under pressure from Mr. Zuma.

The sources said the principals failed to reach agreement on appointments of provincial governors, Mr Mugabe’s unilateral appointment of Attorney General Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and the long-delayed swearing-in of deputy agriculture minister designate Roy Bennett, treasurer of Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change formation. Cabinet and ministerial portfolio issues remained as well.

The sources said the meeting between the three principals was very tense and that Mr. Mugabe insisted that he would make no more concessions until Western sanctions targeting him and about 200 associates have been lifted and foreign radio stations - including VOA's Studio 7 - ceased broadcasts, as ZANU-PF has demanded.

So the principals endorsed only the points that party negotiators had already agreed, including media and electoral reforms, a national audit of farmland, allocation of ambassador posts and a budget for the prime minister’s office.

South African facilitation team member Lindiwe Zulu, an International relations adviser to Zuma, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that Pretoria is now considering the report before deciding the next step, which some parties to the unity government say should be a SADC summit focusing on the deadlock in Zimbabwe.

Harare-based political analyst Charles Mangongera said it is time SADC intervened as a guarantor of the 2008 Global Political Agreement - though it will be tough even for the regional body to come up with a solution.

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