Zuma delays visit to Zimbabwe over deadlock

Regional leaders at a summit in Maputo Mozambique on November 5 gave President Robert Mugabe and his coalition partners 15 to 30 days to sort out their differences.

But the 15 day deadline to resume the dialogue elapsed without any meeting between the negotiators. The South African government says it now expects the Zimbabwean crisis dealt with by December 5.

President Zuma who was mandated by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to facilitate dialogue between Mr Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Professor Arthur Mutambara will now visit Zimbabwe on December 6.

But officials said there was a possibility that Mr Zuma would come earlier if there is no progress.

Meanwhile, the negotiations from Zanu PF and the two MDC formations were due to hold their first meeting later today.

The meeting would come against a background of worsening relations between the MDC factions and Zanu PF.

At the weekend Mr Tsvangirai’s MDC blamed the delays in initiating dialogue on a lack of “sincerity and faithfulness to resolve the outstanding issues” by Zanu PF and the rival MDC faction.

The deadline set by the SADC troika for the resolution of outstanding issues has once again been missed.