A senior aide to South African President Jacob Zuma, regional mediator in the chronically troubled Zimbabwean government, said Friday that Mr. Zuma has asked President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to increase cooperation.
Zuma foreign affairs adviser Lindiwe Zulu said Mr. Zuma, who represents the Southern African Development Community, has been concerned at the deterioration of relations among the parties in the Harare unity government parties in recent weeks despite the resolutions for reform adopted at the recent SADC summit in Johannesburg.
Sources said there is also concern in Pretoria that President Rupiah Banda of Zambia and Mozambican President Armando Guebuza have not yet sent delegates to bolster Harare's Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee - a SADC resolution.
Zulu said Pretoria has decided not to dispatch a South African representative to work with JOMIC having decided that its current facilitation team is up to the task.
Reflecting some confusion in the regional body, SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomão told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that as far as he is concerned the SADC delegates to JOMIC have already been appointed.
Zimbabwean Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, chief negotiator for President Mugabe's ZANU-PF, would not comment on the state of current talks among the governing parties.
But Energy Minister Elton Mangoma, negotiator for Mr. Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, said Mr. Zuma had a conflicting commitment that obliged him to postpone his participation in talks that were to have opened in Harare this weekend.
International relations expert Clifford Mashiri said Mr Zuma must stay involved and not outsource resolution of the conflict to the belligerent parties.