MDC Welcomes Zuma Calls for Resolution to Difficulties

Zuma’s statement was “refreshing” and “unequivocal,” the MDC, led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said today in an e-mailed release, without providing details of the statement.

Zuma, also chairman of the Southern African Development Community, held separate meetings with Tsvangirai, Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara during a two-day visit to the country last week. Mutambara leads a splinter movement of the MDC.

The three men formed a power-sharing government on Feb. 13 in an effort to end a decade of political and economic crises in the southern African nation. The MDC has in recent weeks accused Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front of stalling the full implementation of the power-sharing agreement.

In response, Zanu-PF said the MDC hasn’t succeeded in lifting sanctions imposed on Zimbabwe by Western nations. Mugabe and his leadership are subject to travel bans from a number of countries.

President Jacob Zuma says Zimbabwean leaders are ready to tackle political and social challenges head-on.

He was speaking at a gala dinner in his honour in Harare on Thursday night.

President Zuma said he was encouraged by how Zimbabwe’s unity government had put their differences aside to serve ordinary citizens.

He said the inclusive government had made significant progress since its formation.

These positive developments are a result of the historic signing of the Global Political Agreement and the subsequent formation of the inclusive government.

President Zuma said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) remained at its disposal for assistance.
He said the remaining issues were not insurmountable and could be overcome.

Both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai greeted President Zuma at the airport on Thursday, where he received a 21-gun salute.

Zimbabwe’s inclusive government, now just over six-months old, is believed to be on shaky ground with high tensions between the political leaders.

Tsvangirai’s party, the Movement for Democratic Change, recently appealed to the South African government to help resolve conflict over certain appointments, while the ZANU PF, the party chaired by President Mugabe, have claimed the MDC is dragging its feet on efforts to convince the west to remove their sanctions.