U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday that Washington and Pretoria will work more closely together to push for reform in Zimbabwe and full implementation of the Global Political Agreement for power-sharing in that country.
VOA's Delia Robertson reported from Johannesburg on Clinton's first day in South Africa during which she met with the foreign minister and former President Nelson Mandela.
Responding to Clinton’s comments, Zimbabwean Minister of State Didymus Mutasa, who is attached to the office of President Robert Mugabe and is also secretary for administration of the long-ruling ZANU-PF party, dismissed the U.S. secretary of state's initiative in the region as imperialistic and constituting interference in a sovereign state.
Taking exception with Mutasa’s comments, spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said everyone including President Mugabe acknowledges there are issues around the GPA that must be resolved.
London-based international relations expert Innocent Sithole said Clinton is correct to insist that President Mugabe and ZANU-PF respect the terms of the Global Political Agreement.
South Africa’s opposition Democratic Alliance said Zimbabwe’s inclusive government should be fully supported to boost economic growth and the delivery of essential services, and that Mr. Mugabe and ZANU-PF should adhere to the letter of the Global Political Agreement.
Democratic Alliance shadow minister for foreign affairs Kenneth Mubu told Patience Rusere that Pretoria should also insist Mr. Mugabe and ZANU-PF respect judgments on land reform issued by the Southern African Development Community Tribunal in Windhoek, Namibia.
The party also expressed concerns at reports of a buildup by ZANU-PF militants in rural areas and the government's alleged continued acquisition of weapons.