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Zuma Pushes for Zimbabwe Reforms Ahead of SADC Summit

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma
South Africa's President Jacob Zuma
South African president Jacob Zuma is pressing ahead with his push for reforms ahead of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) summit which has been deferred indefinitely by regional leaders.

Mr. Zuma is the SADC appointed mediator in Harare. The summit which was cancelled yesterday was supposed to begin Sunday in Maputo, Mozambique.

SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao told VOA that there was no quorum and this forced them to postpone the summit.

South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Mmaite Nkoana-Mashabane also told reporters in Pretoria on Friday that an extraordinary summit on Zimbabwe’s forthcoming elections will definitely be held soon but the exact date is still to be agreed.

"Will there be an extraordinary summit? Yes. But there are still consultations to find a convenient date for the majority of leaders," said Ms. Nkoana-Mmashabane.

President Zuma is expected to table his report on Zimbabwe and also on the agenda is the Zimbabwe election roadmap and the funding of the elections. Cash-strapped Zimbabwe is looking for about $130 million to fund elections.

Mr. Zuma’s International Relations advisor and member of the facilitation team, Lindiwe Zulu, said they might not impose an election date on Zimbabwe but reforms must be done.

Zanu-PF sources speaking on condition of anonymity say they told Mr. Zuma’s facilitation team that they are not interested in further reforms and should the two MDC formations continue to push for reforms, they will also be forced to call for the lifting of sanctions and banning of radios stations broadcasting from abroad.

Zanu-PF lead negotiator, Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, could not be reached for comment as he did not answer his mobile phone.

But Energy Minister Elton Mangoma of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said they want regional leaders to give the green light to Zimbabwe to hold elections only if reforms have been instituted.