No sign of Zuma as election fears rise

There is still no sign that the regionally appointed mediator in Zimbabwe’s political crisis, South African President Jacob Zuma, will be in the country soon, despite rising fears that ZANU PF will call an election this year.

South African President Jacob Zuma
South African President Jacob Zuma

Zuma was reportedly expected sometime last week. But his International Relations advisor and member of his mediation team, Lindiwe Zulu, said this was not happening because the leaders in the coalition government were still to find time to host the South African leader.

"The President is not coming this week as we are yet to receive a date from Harare. But he is coming as soon as possible," said Zulu

SW Radio Africa was unable to reach Zulu by phone on Monday.

MDC-T spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora told SW Radio Africa that he, “wasn’t sure” when either the mediation team or Zuma himself was expected in the country. But he promised to find out.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai meanwhile is in London until Thursday, meaning it is unlikely Zuma will make his visit this week.

It is widely hoped that the mediation team will start putting more pressure on the coalition government to implement key reforms, to pave the way for free and fair elections. The regional leadership bloc, SADC, has insisted it will not allow elections in Zimbabwe until the Global Political Agreement (GPA) is honoured.

But various commentators have told SW Radio Africa that the GPA, which ZANU PF has refused to honour, appears to be dead in the water, and the focus now seems to be on preparing for a fresh poll.

ZANU PF insists it will hold elections this year and seems determined to carry out this threat. The party is already reportedly preparing for its primaries, believed to be set for June. Shortly after that it’s understood the party will re-launch Robert Mugabe’s presidential re-election campaign.

At the same time, ZANU PF Minister Didymus Mutasa has slammed Finance Minister Tendai Biti’s statements that there is no money for a poll this year, describing the comments as “nonsensical”.

“Biti must stop making noise and quietly look for money to hold elections. It’s not his money and whether he likes it or not, elections will be held this year,” said Mutasa. SW Radio Africa

Post published in: Africa News

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