Exasperated by the continued bickering in Zimbabwe's power-sharing government, South African President Jacob Zuma is now taking the lead role in drafting a roadmap to ensure that elections expected next year are held in a free and fair environment.
Sources in President Robert Mugabe's former ruling Zanu-PF party and both formations of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara respectively, confirmed the latest development.
Additional sources in Pretoria told VOA that the roadmap was being crafted by Mr. Zuma’s facilitation team, adding it would be modelled around the Southern African Development Community's so-called protocol on the principles and guidelines governing democratic elections.
Mr. Zuma had initially indicated that Zimbabwe’s six lead inter-party negotiators would draft the roadmap. But the South African leader, negotiating the Zimbabwean dialogue on behalf of SADC, has now taken up the onus.
The draft roadmap is likely to be completed before the January 2011 meeting of the SADC Troika or committee on politics, defence and security.
A top Zuma aide, Lindiwe Zulu told VOA they were seized with the Zimbabwean elections roadmap, but added Pretoria will not impose anything on Harare.
Chairman of the Zimbabwe Elections Support Network Tinoziva Bere described Mr. Zuma’s move as commendable.