Mugabe again makes a fool of SA over talks (11-07-070

Basildon Peta
President Robert Mugabe has once again sabotaged President Thabo
mediation to end the Zimbabwean crisis. The ageing Zimbabwean leader's
envoys failed to turn up in South Africa for the beginning of the first
formal substantive talks with the opposition a

t the weekend. The
Foreign Service (IFS) established last night that Mugabe’s
to the talks – Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and Labour Minister
Nicholas Goche – did not show up for the dialogue due to have resumed
yesterday. The South African government is meeting all the costs for
talks, including air tickets and subsistence and upkeep expenses for
main political representatives and several of their supporting
staff. Authoritative sources said the excuse given by Mugabe’s party
for the
last-minute no-show was that the two ministers had to take part in
Zanu PF central committee and cabinet meetings. These were called to
the economic turmoil in Zimbabwe as well as to brief colleagues on the
of the dialogue to date. The IFS also established that the SA
government was
not impressed by Chinamasa and Goche’s failure to turn up. It sees the
dialogue as key to resolving the Zimbabwean crisis. The talks are
aimed at creating conditions for a free and fair election next year.
said the talks had now been rescheduled for next week, assuming that
and Chinamasa turn up for the dialogue.
Zanu PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have already
agreed on the agenda for discussions, after initial preparatory talks
Pretoria last month. But the agenda was agreed upon only after Goche
Chinamasa had twice failed to pitch up for scheduled meetings. When
finally did turn up, it was after Mbeki had intervened. This week’s
were meant to be the first substantive dialogue on the agreed agenda.
Further evidence that Mugabe is not sincere about dialogue emerged at
weekend, when he ruled out a new constitution for Zimbabwe.
the need for a democratic constitution tops the agreed agenda for the
In March, Southern African Development Community leaders mandated Mbeki
mediate between Zanu PF and the MDC for a solution to the political
SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salamao was mandated to draft an
rescue package for Zimbabwe. Authoritative sources said Salamao was
preparing a dramatic plan to rescue the shattered Zimbabwean economy by
recommending the extension of the SA rand’s monetary area into
Zimbabwe. The
aim would be to stabilise the exchange rate of the Zimbabwe dollar and
inflation so that the country could buy foreign exchange to continue
importing essential goods.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *