Implement power-sharing pact: Congressmen

meeksHARARE A United States (US) Congress delegation visiting Zimbabwe last week has said Washington would only consider removing travel and economic sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and his elite upon the full implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA). (Pictured: Congressman Gregory Meeks)

Congressman Gregory Meeks, who led the five-member delegation, said partners in the coalition government would have to demonstrate ability to share power equally as agreed in the GPA before asking for the removal of sanctions. Speaking after meeting Speaker of Parliament Lovemore Moyo and leaders of the parliament driven constitution-making process, Meeks said the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) should push for the resolution of outstanding matters.

There are issues in regards to commitments that both sides made to the Global Political Agreement. These issues have to be resolved and I am hopeful that SADC and both sides will sit down and resolve the issues agreed upon the GPA. And once that happens, then I think we will be in a better position to review the matter. Thats the challenge for the government, said Meeks.

Meeks team, comprising four Democrats and one Republican is the largest congressional delegation to visit Zimbabwe in close to a decade in what could signal Washingtons desire to be more accommodative to Harare. The delegation met President Robert Mugabe last Thursday afternoon, but both sides did not comment on the discussions.

Although the coalition government has stuttered on for the past five months, and seems to be in no immediate danger of collapse, tensions have built up over disagreements on the appointment of senior officials and the issue of US and EU sanctions on Mugabe and his inner circle. Mugabe has recently been accusing former opposition leader and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of failing to do enough to campaign for the removal of sanctions. Tsvangirai met the delegation yesterday and made assurances that the coalition government presented an opportunity “to a new day”.

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