Saturday, August 29, 2009

Not much optimism as Zuma departs

HARARE – South African President Jacob Zuma flew back to South Africa Friday evening with little to suggest any progress had been achieved in his efforts to end Zimbabwe’s political stalemate.

Zuma however said the three leaders will attend the SADC summit next month for what could be yet another attempt by the regional block to unravel Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

President Robert Mugabe and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leaders, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara are the signatories to the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

Zuma, who met the three leaders separately on Thursday evening, said the former rivals were agreed on the urgency of resolving their differences.

“I met the signatories to the agreement last night and also this morning, in my capacity as SADC chairperson and guarantor,” Zuma said when he officially opened the Harare Agricultural Show Friday afternoon.

“We discussed the critical issues relating to the implementation. The parties are in agreement on the need to speed up implementation and to find solutions to the current points of disagreement.

“The important factor is that there is commitment amongst all parties, which will make the movement forward possible.”

The South African leader’s visit, the first in his official capacity as South Africa’s third elected post-apartheid leader, was met with high expectations he was going to use his influence as SADC chair to persuade President Mugabe to allow the full implementation of the September 15, 2008 GPA.

Key among the issues was the revisiting of the unilateral appointment by Mugabe, of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Attorney General Johannes Tomana to their current terms.

The MDC also wants Mugabe to swear in its officials to take up provincial governorship posts currently occupied by Zanu-PF loyalists, the swearing in of its national treasurer Roy Bennett as deputy Minister of Agriculture and an end to fresh farm invasions and the continued arrest of its officials on petty charges.

Zanu-PF is adamant it will not give in to any further demands by the MDC before the later effectively denounces western imposed sanctions it allegedly invited on Zimbabwe.

He continued, “We will go to SADC summit on 7-8 September in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The region stands united behind the people of Zimbabwe, and all seek solutions.”

Zuma, who was scheduled to brief journalists before departure later assigned his Minister of International Relations and Cooperation, Maite Nkoana-Nashabane to brief journalists.

On her part, Nkoana-Nashabane read word for word what turned out to be the same sentiments expressed by the South African leader when he opened the agricultural show earlier. She refused to take any questions.

Zuma, who as South Africa’s leader, is presiding over one of Africa model democracies, called on his peers to respect human rights in their respective countries.

“Africa cannot only be defined by geography,” he said, “We should also come together around a set of values that define our humanity.

“For this reason, the promotion of democracy, the respect for human rights and the improvement of governance are vital for our success as a continent.”

He called on western governments to remove sanctions imposed on President Mugabe government for abuse of human rights.

“We are aware that some economic development partners and donor countries have put some benchmarks to be met before they can extend financial assistance, and currently only offer humanitarian assistance.

“Since these relate to the implementation of the Global Political Agreement, to which signatories remain fully committed, meeting these benchmarks should be a priority in the work of the inclusive government.

“We appeal to the international community to remove any hindrances to Zimbabwe’s economic recovery.

“However, as South Africa, we encourage donors to provide the development and that is dearly needed to ensure that the inclusive government is able to discharge its responsibilities of turning around the political and socio economic development situation in Zimbabwe.

“Of course the inclusive government has a responsibility to fully implement the Global Political Agreement and thus create confidence in the process.”

Zuma said he was encouraged by the performance of the inclusive government.

He mentioned the formation of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee, charged with the policing of the GPA; consensus reached on the national healing and reconciliation process; the current constitutional making process and the stable economic environment brought about by the multi currency system as some of the notable achievements brought by the inclusive government.

3 Opinion(s):

h said...

Blah blah blah. I've heard it all before. They are 'committed' and they have 'strong desires' to fix things. Whatever. I am sick of Zim and blame the people of Zim for their current situation. If they wanted it changed, they should have taken to the streets and got rid of this piece of shit leader of theirs. You deserve everything you get if you are not willing or prepared to fight for change.

Anonymous said...

Agree completely h. Their leaders f@cks up the country and now the west must bail them out. This same west who mad-bob accuses of causing all the problems in the country. And now Zuma (who early on in his pre-election said that bob must go and who has now done a 180degree turn on that one) is encouraging all and sundry to help the country out. Let them starve and die. The same will happen to SA if the sheeple don't wake up soon. And the vultures are circling high above waiting....

Saoirse said...

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