Tsvangirai To Meet Zuma

Harare, -Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will on Saturday meet with the SADC facilitator and South Africa President Jacob Zuma to brief him on the crisis in Zimbabwe ahead of the Troika Organ Summit scheduled for Zambia next week.

The Prime Minister last week kicked off a regional tour to engage SADC leaders to update them on the dire situation in Zimbabwe where violence, arbitrary arrests and proscription of public meetings is threatening the inclusive Government.

On Saturday, Tsvangirai will meet the facilitator, President Zuma, in Durban as part of his regional offensive to impress the need for a time-bound roadmap, with a clear role for SADC, ahead of the next election.

The Prime Minister is also expected to visit Angola, Namibia, the DRC and Tanzania before a crucial Troika organ meeting in the Zambian border town of Livingstone on 31 March 2011.

Last week, Tsvangirai, met the chairperson of the SADC Troika Organ on Politics, Defence and Security, Zambian President Rupiah Banda in Lusaka. He also met President Armando Guebbuza of Mozambique, King Mswati of Swaziland and President Khama of Botswana.

“The violence machinery has once again been unrolled in the countryside, the culture of impunity has worsened and the past eight weeks have seen an intensification of the crackdown on the democratic forces in the country,” Tsvangirai said after his four-nation diplomatic offensive last week.

“It appears the civilian authority is no longer in charge and dark and sinister forces have engaged in a hostile take-over of running the affairs of the country, with or without the blessing of some leaders of the civilian authority.”

He said unless the violence and the culture of impunity against democratic forces were nipped in the bud, Zimbabwe could easily slide back to the dark days of 2008.

“SADC, as the guarantors of this agreement, has to play a critical role in ensuring that we all respect the signatures that we appended to in the GPA. We have to implement all the agreed issues and usher in political, economic and media reforms as stipulated in the GPA in order to enable the country to transit peacefully to a credible and legitimate government whilst SADC should monitor every step of this process,” the Premier said.

He added that the SADC region should not stand back and allow this impunity to graduate into full-fledged chaos.

“The people of Zimbabwe want a guarantee that they will be allowed to vote for parties and leaders of their choice in a free environment,” he said.

“They hope that the guarantors of this agreement will ensure that their vote counts and that their vote will be protected. I appeal to all peace-loving people and leaders of SADC, the African Union and the broader international community to help Zimbabwe by stopping the violence.”