Zuma deploys Envoys to relaunch talks on the back of Welshman Ncube attacks
South African President Jacob Zuma, mediator in Zimbabwe on behalf of the Southern African Development Community, was again to send a team of facilitators to Harare on Monday to attempt to patch up the frayed government of national unity there despite reports the Movement for Democratic Change has lost confidence in his efforts.
Sources in Pretoria and Harare confirmed that South Africa’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Mlungisi Makhalima, told both formations of the MDC and ZANU-PF, the other party in the unity government, that Zuma’s envoys will be in Harare on Monday. They are Lindiwe Zulu, Mac Maharaj and Charles Nqakula, the sources said.
Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Secretary General Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga of the smaller MDC formation led by Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, also confirmed the visit.
Sources said the latest discussions will focus on the meeting of the SADC troika on politics, defense and security expected to take place this month, a road map to elections in Zimbabwe, and resolving disagreements on the implementation of the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing which underpins the unity government.
But SADC sources indicated the troika meeting on Zimbabwe will be pushed back. SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salomao said his organization is fully engaged preparing for an African Union summit to be held late this month in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. But he did not rule out SADC leaders informally discussing Zimbabwe on the summit sidelines.
Meanwhile, however, both MDC formations have expressed disappointment with what Mr. Zuma has been able to accomplish since being named mediator in 2009.
Ncube, president of the smaller MDC formation and its chief negotiator in matters related to the Global Political Agreement, was quoted in the weekly Independent newspaper as saying that South Africa and SADC "should have paid more attention, devoted more time to assisting the parties to find common ground and they have not done so."
Energy Minister Elton Mangoma of the Tsvangirai MDC formation also said that the regional organization has failed to resolve outstanding GPA issues.
Political analyst Trevor Maisiri told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that despite the complaints by the two MDC wings, there is no alternative to Zuma’s mediation.