Remarks by Zimbabwean Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa published Friday in the state-controlled Herald newspaper suggested the lead negotiator for ZANU-PF in talks within the fractious unity government has backtracked on comments earlier this week saying that his party had lost faith in talks brokered by South African President Jacob Zuma.
Chinamasa told the ZANU-PF leaning Herald newspaper that President Zuma’s facilitation team will spend more time in Zimbabwe stepping up efforts to resolve outstanding issues related to implementation of the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing.
Zuma aide Lindiwe Zulu, spokesperson for the South African facilitation team, said it is true that progress has been slow, but she said no one had proposed breaking off talks.
Commentator Stanford Mukasa, a journalism professor in the United States, said ZANU-PF is attempting a tactical retreat but is caught in a web of its own contradictions at a time when President Robert Mugabe, the party's leader, is believed to be ill with cancer.
"ZANU-PF is completely confused," Mukasa said. "They don’t know what to do. Their leader is sick. They don’t have a successor and they are very jittery about the prospects of elections." No elections have been scheduled but a ballot in 2012 seems likely.