A member of the South African facilitation team working with negotiators for the political parties sharing power in Zimbabwe is said to have said elections are not feasible this year though warning that the political deadlock in Harare cannot go on forever.
Lindiwe Zulu, a foreign policy aide to South African President Jacob Zuma and a member of the facilitation team seeking to unravel the impasse in Harare said in remarks to the so-called Southern African Liaison Office high-level meeting on the proposed elections road-map for Zimbabwe that the environment is not conducive for elections now.
Sources at the meeting quoted her as saying institutions must also be strengthened.
Such pressure to put off elections is said to be causing friction within President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party. Its negotiators in discussions with its partners in government, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Transport Minister Nicholas Goche, are said to be taking heat from ZANU-PF hardliners for backing off 2011 elections.
With elections this year seemingly off the table, negotiators are focusing on the security sector with the two Movement for Democratic Change formations pressing for the Central Intelligence Organization to be answerable to Parliament, not the president, and urging soldiers now deployed around the country be ordered back to barracks.
Zulu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that despite its flaws, the proposed road-map to elections is a constructive starting point for both Pretoria and Harare.
Commenting, political analyst Trevor Maisiri, director of the Africa Reform Institute, told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that Pretoria’s elections call is on target.