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Zuma jets in for crisis talks

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South African President and Southern African Development Community (Sadc) facilitator to the Zimbabwe crisis, Jacob Zuma, jetted into the country Friday to save the shaky coalition government which from imminent collapse.

Serious differences have emerged between the three principals in the unity government, particularly between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai over the implementation of the Global Political Agreement, culminating in Tsvangirai approaching the courts for redress.

Tsvangirai is furious over Mugabe’s unilateral appointments of ambassadors, High Court judges and governors and wants the appointments reversed.

Zuma was last evening meeting with the three principals separately at the Rainbow Towers Hotel hotel before meeting them together later in the night. By the time of going to press, the meetings were still going-on.

“(President Zuma) will receive reports from all parties on progress made since the Sadc Troika Summit held in Namibia recently with a view to taking the process forward,” Zuma’s office said in a statement yesterday.

The visit comes a few days after Sadc’s organ on politics, defense and security failed to meet in Gaborone last Friday to look into the deepening crisis in Zimbabwe.

The organ, chaired by Zambian President Ruppiah Banda, was supposed to meet before the official opening of the new Sadc headquarters to discuss problems which have threatened to split Zimbabwe’s government, but failed because Banda, and Mozambican President Armando Guebuza did not attend.

Last week, the MDC-T secretary general Tendai Biti said his party wanted Mugabe’s breach of the GPA, such as the unilateral appointments and the failure to implement agreed issues such as media reforms and the land audit, to be addressed.

He said outstanding issues, which included the refusal by Mugabe to swear-in MDC-T treasurer-general Roy Bennett as deputy minister of agriculture and the appointments of Gideon Gono as Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor and Johannes Tomana as Attorney General also needed to be addressed.

The MDC-T also wants Sadc to ensure that a roadmap towards free and fair elections is established and followed.

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