Zuma to visit Zim

President Jacob Zuma of South Africa is expected to pay a formal visit to Zimbabwe in the next two weeks to persuade President Robert Mugabe to return to the rule of law and ensure free and fair elections next year. His facilitation team has been in the country doing the groundwork.

Jacob Zuma
Jacob Zuma

Both the MDC and JOMIC have written to Zuma recently, highlighting the escalating violence of recent weeks as Zimbabwe slips deeper into chaos.

Biti’s letter to Zuma, a copy of which is in possession of The Zimbabwean, says: "The political and security situation in Zimbabwe is deteriorating at an alarming pace and the MDC calls on SADC to intervene to ensure the GPA does not collapse. It is now 32 months after the consummation of the inclusive government. Despite the economic gains made thus far, the political situation still remains precarious with the potential of degenerating into anarchy."

Top MDC sources said Zuma promised to bring back sanity and ensure full implementation of the GPA and the election roadmap.

Zuma, a scheming political operator who has quashed a rebellion in his own ruling African National Congress by sacking Julius Malema, is coming to Zimbabwe in a last-ditch bid to try to save his northern neighbour from deepening chaos.

"It will be a formal visit. President Zuma will be coming to exchange views on how to best address the situation in Zimbabwe," said a South African diplomat in Harare.

"We think discussions can help to advance us to an amicable solution to the preparations for a free and fair election. There is still hope, we are hopeful," he added.

The SA ambassador Vusi Mavimbela was not immediately available for comment.

Africa and the rest of the world will be watching to see how Mugabe handles the South Africans this time round. He has publicly compared his party’s campaign ahead of the next elections to a military operation.

"The ball is clearly in Mugabe’s court and the destiny of Zimbabwe in his hands. He can seize the opportunity by playing ball with the South Africans and return his country to tranquillity," said a Namibian diplomat.

"Or he can play games with them, close the doors and push his country and even the whole southern African region into chaos," he said, adding: "Zimbabwe is contagious and it could affect its neighbours."

Meanwhile, in a rare show of unity senior party officials from all signatories to the GPA met on Friday to discuss ways of ending political violence.

The three principals Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, President Robert Mugabe and leader of the smaller faction of the MDC, Welshman Ncube, addressed the historic meeting, organised by the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee.

They all agreed that security agents, especially the police, should provide adequate security to all citizens irrespective of their political affiliation and not be enemies of the people.

The police have in the last month banned or disrupted MDC meetings across the country, assaulting and arresting several MDC supporters, while the known Zanu (PF) supporters responsible have not been apprehended.

MDC secretary-general Tendai Biti called for all parties to commit to 10 important issues in an attempt to end violence. These include sincerity on the part of politicians, tolerance, unity among Zimbabweans, a national vision and freedom of expression, assembly and choice.

“Let us act now, together and differently. It cannot be business as usual,” said Biti.

Post published in: Africa News

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