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African Union, SADC Put Pressure on Mugabe To Reform

President Robert Mugabe
When the African Union (AU) meets next year in Addis Ababa for its annual summit, it is expected to put further pressure on President Robert Mugabe to institute reforms before elections, which the president says he wants held next March.

The AU and Southern African Development Community (SADC) sources told VOA that President Jacob Zuma, the SADC appointed mediator in Harare, is expected to table a report on Zimbabwe, which recommends that Harare institute reforms.

At the Zanu PF party annual people’s conference that ended Sunday, Mr. Mugabe threatened to dissolve parliament and call for elections if the cabinet committee dealing with the new constitution does not agree to a final draft before the end of December.

Mr. Mugabe said if the new constitution is not ready, the country must revert to the revised Lancaster House constitution.

Meeting on Saturday, SADC leaders pushed back, telling Mr. Mugabe to complete the constitution-making process and implement other reforms agreed to in the global political agreement.

Sources in SADC and the AU said the bodies are also putting pressure on President Mugabe, as well as Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki, to ensure that their next elections are peaceful.

Both countries saw violence leading up to and in the wake of controversial elections that led to the formation of unity governments.

Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition coordinator Phillan Zamchiya told VOA that Mr. Mugabe risks being isolated if he remains opposed to pre-electoral reforms.
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