to secure the exit for Mugabe as a way of saving Zimbabwe from further collapse is gathering momentum in diplomatic circles.
This paper can reveal that Mbeki has already been subjected to a lot of pressure and is understood to have admitted that the only way he could come up with an effective solution to the Zimbabwean political logjam would be getting rid of Mugabe.
Highly-placed sources say that Mbeki has already written to Mugabe and the two were expected to hold a private meeting on the sidelines of the AU summit in Ghana specifically to discuss the issue of Mugabe’s departure from power.
Dr Keith Martin, MP from Canada, wrote to Mbeki last month. “I hope, President Mbeki, that you will lead an initiative whereby Mr. Mugabe would step down, and allow free and open elections, in exchange for not being prosecuted for his crimes while in office,” he wrote. “If he can be encouraged to step down then perhaps the torture that the Zimbabwean people have been enduring will stop.”
It was not possible to obtain a copy of Mbeki’s reply, which sources in the South African diplomatic community said was “very positive” and “assured that the current dialogue initiative was expected to yield the desired results for the people of Zimbabwe”.
The Zimbabwean has heard that the same lobbying by the diplomatic community is being extended to the current chair of the African Union, President John Kuffor of Ghana.
The Zimbabwean is in possession of a copy of a letter written by a member of parliament in Canada to President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa last month, calling on him to urge President Robert Mugabe to step down and be guaranteed indemnity from prosecution. This comes as lobbying