Mbeki not attending Zimbabwe meeting

JOHANNESBURG – Neither former South African president Thabo Mbeki nor any of his aides will be attending today's meeting in Harare between President Robert Mugabe and the opposition leaders, Mbeki's spokesperson said today.\r\n

"It is nonsense that there is a representative there. We will tell you when Mbeki will go to Zimbabwe," Mukoni Ratshitanga said.

The AFP reported that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe would meet opposition leaders later today to iron out differences over the makeup of a unity government aimed at ending the country’s political chaos.

The news agency quoted two senior western diplomats in South Africa saying at least one Mbeki aide could travel to Harare this weekend to discuss the situation in a move to push forward the talks.

Thabo Mbeki has agreed to resume his mediation in Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

On Thursday, new SA president Kgalema Motlanthe said he fully supported Mbeki’s role as SADC mediator in the Zimbabwean dialogue. "Our government has full confidence in Mr Mbeki’s ability to build on the historic successes already made in the power sharing negotiations under his mediation.

"Mr Mbeki’s facilitation efforts in Zimbabwe have proven his dispassionate vision for a lasting political solution to the challenges facing Zimbabwe," Motlanthe said in the Thursday statement.

Power-sharing talks have stalled in Zimbabwe after the two parties; the Movement for Democratic Change and Zanu (PF) failed to agree on the allocation of key ministries. – Sapa