Zuma due in Harare to put pressure on Robert Mugabe : MDC

Harare – South African President Jacob Zuma is expected in Zimbabwe “later this week” to exert pressure on Robert Mugabe and to resolve a crisis that has threatened the country’s fragile coalition government, one of the feuding parties said here Tuesday.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) faction led by Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said Zuma would jet into Harare sometime this week to meet leaders of the three main political parties and discuss progress made towards resolving a power-sharing deadlock between Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe.

Former opposition leader Tsvangirai threatened to pull out of the nine-month-old coalition government last month after accusing Mugabe of reneging on a promise to institute political reforms and over a dispute on appointments of top government officials.

He only withdrew the threat after an emergency summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) security troika in October gave the parties 30 days to fully implement a power-sharing agreement they signed in 2008.

That deadline ends on Sunday (6 December).

“South African President Jacob Zuma was expected in Zimbabwe later this week to assess progress or lack of it, and then take his report to Mozambique President Armando Guebuza, who heads the SADC Troika,” a spokesperson for the MDC said.

A team of South African officials facilitating Zimbabwe’s power-sharing talks on Monday met with Mugabe to discuss problems rocking the coalition government.

The team also met with negotiators from the three political parties in the unity government.