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S.Africa's Zuma to Caution Mugabe Against Holding Elections This Year


South African President Jacob Zuma is expected to caution Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe against calling elections this year before the full implementation of reforms contained in the Global Political Agreement, the bedrock of Harare's inclusive government.

The two leaders will meet at the Sadc Troika and heads of state summit meetings in Luanda, Angola. The troika meeting, which will discuss the issue of elections in particular, will meet Thursday ahead of the Friday summit.

But Zanu PF sources say Mr. Mugabe will make a pitch to his fellow Sadc leaders to ignore Zuma, the Sadc-appointed mediator in Harare, and support his push for elections this year without a new constitution or other key democratic reforms in place.

Mr. Mugabe dispatched his envoys to the region ahead of the summit to push for elections this year, arguing the MDC formations are sabotaging the constitution-making process to delay fresh polls.

Sadc sources told VOA that Mr. Zuma will table a report on Zimbabwe before the troika on the state of affairs in Harare then present the same report to fellow heads of state in summit.

Mr. Zuma is expected to note progress made so far and insist on the completion of the election roadmap.

Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomao told VOA that Zimbabwe and other regional hot spots are up for discussion at the summit.

Zanu PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo said there is no going back on elections this year.

Secretary general Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga of the MDC formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube said party negotiators have already agreed on what will be contained in Mr. Zuma’s report.

Spokesman Douglas Mwonzora of the MDC formation led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said they want Sadc to dissuade Mr. Mugabe from holding elections without key reforms.

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