A top aide to South African President Jacob Zuma said on Tuesday that Mr. Zuma, mediator in Harare on behalf of the Southern African Development Community, has been “seized” with the latest crisis in the unity government there and is stepping up intervention in a bid to resolve the dispute over the scope of President Robert Mugabe's powers.
Mr. Zuma sent a team of facilitators to Harare last week and its members met with President Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara after Mr. Tsvangirai wrote to Mr. Zuma charging that Mr. Mugabe’s appointment of Zimbabwean Ambassador to South Africa Phelekezela Mphoko was invalid.
Mr. Tsvangirai has challenged a number of Mr. Mugabe's ambassadorial, gubernatorial and other appointments on the grounds that they were made without consultations in the unity government and were therefore unconstitutional.
Zuma foreign policy adviser Lindiwe Zulu said her boss was evaluating submissions by the Harare government principals on the latest power-sharing dispute. But she said Pretoria considered Zimbabwe's envoy properly accredited.
Zulu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that the appointments issue remains part of the bigger crisis which Mr. Zuma is seeking to resolve. London-based political analyst Brilliant Mhlanga said continued mediation by Mr. Zuma and his team may produce the result that Mr. Tsvangirai desires.