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Zimbabwe PM: Political Logjam Dims Reform Prospects

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met with South African president Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team Thursday and expressed serious concern over the non-implementation of outstanding issues and agreements in the Global Political Agreement.

Mr. Tsvangirai spoke about the crackdown by the state machinery on some of his party members. President Zuma is the Southern African Development Community (SADC) appointed mediator in Zimbabwe.

Sources privy to the bilateral talks said Mr. Tsvangirai said his party is committed to ensuring the constitution-making process is speeded-up so the draft charter can go through the remaining stages.

They said Mr. Tsvangirai said he was also dismayed by the unity government’s failure to implement reforms necessary for the holding of free and fair elections - these include security sector and media reforms.

The prime minister was accompanied by Energy Minister Elton Mangoma, Minister in the Prime Minister’s office Jameson Timba and party spokesman Douglas Mwonzora.

The facilitation team was also expected to meet President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party officials Thursday.

The South Africans met Monday with the Movement for Democratic Change formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube.

The facilitation team’s visit is being viewed as a precursor to the SADC troika on Politics and Defense to be held in Tanzania where Mr. Zuma is expected to brief Southern African leaders on the Zimbabwean issue.

International relations expert Clifford Mashiri, a former Zimbabwean diplomat in Addis Ababa, says Mr. Zuma’s team is now struggling to close the deal in Harare.
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