Zuma criticised over concessions for Mugabe

jacob-zuma3JOHANNESBURG South African President Jacob Zuma (Pictured) is being urged to take a decisive stand on Zimbabwe, as he heads to the UK for a visit.

Zuma has indicated that he will fight on Zimbabwes behalf for targeted measures against Mugabe and his allies to be lifted. Zuma told journalists recently that the measures were undermining his efforts to push Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai to agree to an electoral framework that could guarantee a free and fair vote. We want to create a conducive environment so that they can have elections to choose their own government, but the continuation of sanctions is undermining the agreement, Zuma said.

The European Union (EU) last month extended the measures on Mugabe and his inner circle by another year, citing lack of progress in implementing the global political agreement (GPA).

Zumas statement has since attracted severe criticism from analysts who said the person to blame for Zimbabwes woes was none other than Mugabe himself, as well as his Zanu (PF) party the very same people that would be rewarded if the measures were dropped.

Athol Trollip, the parliamentary leader for South Africas main political opposition, the Democratic Alliance (DA), on Monday said Zuma needed to focus on two key issues: plans for the indigenisation of foreign firms, and South Africas stance on the shopping measures against Mugabe. Trollip said that these were considerations critical to stabilising Zimbabwes tenuous political situation. Trollip called the indigenisation plans extremely problematic, not only because of Mugabes various destructive policies such as land reform, but also because of his access to state wealth. Trollip accused Mugabe of using state wealth to shore up his position, to the detriment of the country whose economy had been decimated.

He added that if Mugabe was serious about properly managing the Zimbabwean economy, he needs to reform his policies. Trollip explained that Mugabe needed to demonstrate a commitment to democracy, and ensure that the states wealth would not be used for political purposes. Trollip said there remains no sufficient political reason for the sanctions imposed on Mugabe to be lifted. In the light of few real steps taken by the Zimbabwean administration towards truly democratic governance, President Zuma needs to support the European communitys decision to reconstitute sanctions against President Mugabe, Trollip said.

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