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Zimbabwean Leaders Summoned to Regional Meeting As Crisis Deepens

Jameson Timba, minister of state in the office of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, says the SADC troika will focus on unfinished business left over from a summit in August in Windhoek, Namibia

The Southern African Development Community has invited the three principals in the troubled Zimbabwean unity government to a meeting of its troika on defense and security in Gaborone, Botswana, on Friday, on the sidelines of gathering of 15 regional leaders coming together to inaugurate SADC’s new headquarters, sources said Tuesday.

South African President Jacob Zuma, SADC's mediator in Zimbabwe, will table a report on his efforts to date trying to resolve the perennial crisis in Harare. Mr. Zuma is also the vice chairman of the troika, now headed by Zambian President, Rupiya Banda.

The SADC panel will revisit resolutions formulated at a summit in August in Windhoek, Namibia, in an effort to determine why those proposed compromises have not been put in place and the Harare government now finds itself on the verge of collapse.

Lindiwe Zulu, a foreign policy advisor to Mr. Zuma, told reporter Blessing Zulu that her president will brief the SADC troika on what's gone wrong in Harare.

Jameson Timba, minister of state in the office of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said Mr. Tsvangirai will press SADC leaders to force Mr. Mugabe to adhere to the terms of the 2008 Global Political Agreement that is the basis of power sharing.

Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, secretary general of the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara, the third principal in the unity government, confirmed the invitation and said he hopes SADC will ease tensions.

ZANU-PF spokesman Rugare Gumbo referred all questions to Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, the party's chief negotiator on power-sharing issues. But Chinamasa could not be reached for his comment on the objectives of the troika meeting.