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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Zuma and African leaders to streamline Mugabe

SOUTH AFRICA – PRETORIA – South African President Jacob Zuma will seek to work with other regional leaders on a combined effort to knock sense into Mugabe’s head. The Zimbabwe Telegraphreports.

Zuma, speaking in Johannesburg moments after meeting Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, said he would contact President Robert Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara as well as South African Development Community (SADC) leaders to “see how we can continue working together to resolve the satiation in Zimbabwe”.

Tsvangirai, who along with Mutambara was pressured by the SADC to agree to join Mugabe in a government of national unity to tackle Zimbabwe’s multi-faceted crisis, briefed Zuma on the progress the power-sharing government has made in dealing with unresolved issues.

Zuma is current chairman of the 15-nation SADC bloc that alongside the African Union is a guarantor of Zimbabwe’s power-sharing agreement.

“I will be contacting President Mugabe as well as Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara on the issues that the Prime Minister has raised and also will contact SADC leaders on what the Prime Minister has briefed me and see how we can continue working together to resolve the satiation in Zimbabwe,” said Zuma, who addressed journalists with Tsvangirai.

“There are very few, yet very weighty, issues that have not been resolved. But these issues should not be deadlocked to the end,” said the South African President.

Tsvangirai, who defeated Mugabe in a first round presidential election last year but was forced to withdraw from a decisive second round ballot because of violence, said the unity government had made some progress but added that there were “areas of slow progress” that he hoped Zuma would help rectify.

He said: “I had a meeting with President Zuma this morning to give him an update on the areas of progress and areas of slow progress five months after the formation of the inclusive government in Zimbabwe.

“I am sure as chairman of SADC he is much on aware of the situation in Zimbabwe and understands our situation. I hope he will do everything in his power to make sure that we move forward in a positive way.”

Zimbabwe’s unity government formed last February is seen as offering the country the best opportunity in a decade to wriggle out of economic and political crisis.

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