Zim leaders to meet Monday: SADC

tomaz_salamaoHARARE President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai will meet on Monday to try to resolve a power-sharing dispute threatening to collapse the unity government, while regional leaders could convene a summit to discuss the deadlock, a regional mediation team said on Friday. (Pictured: TOMAZ SALAMAO . . . SADC executive secretary)

They met last Monday and they are planning to meet again on Monday, said Mozambican Foreign Minister Oldemiro Baloi who was leading a ministerial delegation of the SADC security organ, also known as the Troika, that was reviewing the power-sharing agreement between Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

The SADC (Southern African Development Community) that brokered the power-sharing agreement between the Zimbabwean political leaders tasked the Troika to monitor Zimbabwes global political agreement (GPA) that set up the February unity government.

Addressing reporters at the end of the Troika delegations review mission in Harare yesterday Baloi said they were consulting SADC heads of state on the possibility of convening an extraordinary summit to try to resolve the dispute in Harare.

We are still consulting. Heads of state have very tight schedules but it will be very soon, said Baloi.

The Mozambican Foreign Minister whose delegation included Swazi Foreign Minister Lutho Dhlamini, Zambian Deputy Foreign Minister Fashion Phiri and SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salamao, said parties to GPA were frank and open during the two-day consultations.

There was openness, frankness and commitment to the process, said Baloi.

The Troika team, which also included South African facilitators to the dialogue that led to the formation of the inclusive government, Frank Chikane and Monjaku Gumbi, urged the coalition partners to continue to engage in dialogue to save the unity government whose eight-month rein has brought marked relief to ordinary Zimbabweans.

The Troika urged the political parties that they continue to engage in dialogue to find a lasting solution to the outstanding issues towards the fulfillment of the GPA . . . They should not allow the current situation to hamper further progress on the gains made so far, said the Troika in its final communiqu.

The SADC review mission came after MDC-T leader Tsvangirai announced two weeks ago that his party would no longer attend Cabinet and was cutting all contact with Mugabe and his ZANU PF party until all outstanding issues to the GPA are resolved, plunging the unity government into its worst crisis since its formation.

The two parties remain deadlocked over key appointments while the MDC also accuses ZANU PF of engaging in a campaign to persecute its supporters.

At least 17 MDC legislators have been arrested since the beginning of the year on charges ranging from theft and public violence to rape and playing music that denigrates Mugabe.

ZANU PF, in turn, accuses the MDC of reneging on a promise to push for the removal of travel bans and an asset freeze slapped by the West on its senior officials.

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