Tension builds in Harare ahead of SA facilitation team’s visit

An escalation of ZANU PF attacks on MDC officials and activists in Zimbabwe risks triggering retaliation, an MDC-T official said on Tuesday, pointing to a growing risk of instability in the country.

Incidents over the past few days have included acts of violence against the MDC-T in Hatcliffe, the blocking of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s rallies in Matabeleland North, where police threatened to shoot anyone trying to attend any of his gatherings, and the violence at the MDC-T headquarters on Tuesday.

This has increased tension ahead of a crucial visit to Zimbabwe by President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team that jetted into Harare on Tuesday. The visit comes at a time when the MDC-T has lost patience with police inaction in preventing the crackdown on its supporters by ZANU PF.

Our Harare correspondent Simon Muchemwa told us only Lindiwe Zulu, Zuma’s international relations advisor, and Charles Nqakula made the trip to Harare.

Zulu told SW Radio Africa recently that it was important that a meeting between the facilitation team and the negotiators be held ‘very soon’ to work out an agenda for Zuma and the principals.

A SADC summit held in Pretoria, South Africa in June also recommended that a three member team be deployed in Zimbabwe to help the Joint Monitoring Committee (JOMIC) effectively monitor the implementation of the GPA. The members are supposed to be drawn from South Africa, Tanzania and Zambia.

But there is an ongoing delay and that is because Tanzania and Zambia have yet to name their representatives. –SW Radio Africa

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