South African President Thabo Mbeki is shortly to deliver a progress report on the Zimbabwe crisis talks he is mediating to his fellow leaders in the Southern Africa Development Community, who handed him his mandate in March.
The official line from Pretoria is that there has been progress – but analysts remain skeptical, noting that while the opposition Movement for Democratic Change is clearly committed to the talks, the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front party of President Robert Mugabe has seemed a half-hearted participant at best.
Analysts said ZANU-PF has more to lose, and is therefore reluctant to proceed. They predicted that it will continue to delay the process as much as possible, a strategy the analysts have attributed to President Robert Mugabe from the very beginning.
While lauding efforts by SADC and the African Union to pressure Mr. Mugabe and his government to reform, analysts say true change can only come from within.
Reporter Ndimyake Mwakalyelye sought the views of Farai Maguwu, coordinator of the Civic Alliance for Democracy and Governance, and Glenn Mpani, a student of democratic governance at the University of Capetown, South Africa.
Mpani said SADC and other bodies are under pressure from Western countries to take action, but can only apply so much pressure to President Mugabe.