Mugabe's Ministers take turns to express capitulation over SADC attack

HARARE – Robert Mugabe, his Zanu-PF party and the Zimbabwean government “have full confidence” in President Jacob Zuma and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to facilitate the Zimbabwean negotiations, Zanu-PF cabinet minister Saviour Kasukuwere insisted yesterday.

Kasukuwere, the Minister of Youth Development, Indigenisation and Empowerment, added that the South African government should pay heed only to his government’s official pronouncements and not to what “individuals” might say.

He was speaking during an interview in Joburg in response to harsh and personally insulting criticism of Zuma at the weekend by Zanu-PF MP Jonathan Moyo and the pro-Zanu-PF Sunday Mail.

Moyo said South Africa’s vote at the UN Security Council for a no-fly zone and air strikes against Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi had disqualified him to continue as SADC’s facilitator of the Zimbabwe negotiations towards free and fair elections.

Mugabe himself was also quoted in the Zanu-PF-aligned Herald newspaper as having told Zanu-PF’s central committee on Friday that Zimbabwe was a sovereign country that would not be dictated to even by its neighbour.

But Kasukuwere, who was addressing a conference on Zimbabwe’s controversial new indigenisation law, insisted all was well in the relationship and with Zuma’s facilitation and that no harm had been done to relations.

“Zimbabwe is a full member of SADC and in fact a founding member,” Kasukuwere said.

“We have full confidence in President Zuma’s facilitation. We respect the African National Congress and the people of South Africa.

“President Mugabe has lots of respect and confidence for the work that President Zuma has been doing.

“It would be unfair to judge us on what individuals have said or an article in the newspaper. You need to hear it from the horse’s mouth…”

Even when it was put to him that Mugabe himself had been reported as saying Zimbabwe would not be dictated to by its neighbour, Kasukuwere said: “President Mugabe made it clear that we have a facilitator who is guiding us, and as Zimbabweans, we are sitting down and working on the roadmap.

“Right now, as I am speaking to you, our party members are in discussion with their colleagues under the facilitation of Zuma’s team.”

The team was in Zimbabwe to accelerate the negotiations so that it could report progress to a special full SADC summit to be held soon.

Diplomatic sources said Zanu-PF had since then submitted its elections roadmap proposals to Zuma’s team.