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Zuma team jets in

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South African President Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team is expected in Zimbabwe today to work on the election roadmap and assess conditions in the country ahead of the Sadc summit in Angola next month.

Zuma’s international relations advisor and spokesperson of the facilitation team Lindiwe Zulu confirmed the meetings, adding they wanted to get as much information as possible on behalf of the SA President, who is the Sadc-appointed facilitator in Zimbabwe’s political crisis.

She said the facilitation team would also meet the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission to gauge the country and the electoral body’s readiness to conduct credible elections.

Zuma’s team will meet the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) over the implementation of the GPA. The team would also have bilateral meetings with the three political parties in the coalition government among other stakeholders.

“Yes, we are in Zimbabwe tomorrow (today) and we have a wide agenda. We want to meet with the role players such as Jomic and the political parties among others,” said Zulu.

“. . . We have also made an appointment with the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission.”

Zulu said although the facilitation team was scheduled to meet representatives of the political parties, who may not necessarily be negotiators, her team would also meet the negotiators to discuss the time frames for the election roadmap.

The parties to the GPA were tasked by Sadc leaders in Sandton, South Africa, last month to come up with timelines for the election roadmap which was crafted by the negotiators and endorsed by Sadc. Zulu said her team was hopeful that a lot of ground would have been covered on the timelines by the time the Angola summit gets underway at the beginning of next month.

The negotiators have put timelines on all agreed issues on the election roadmap although the Zanu PF politburo last week insisted elections would be held this year. The former ruling party declared the timelines were unacceptable as they would delay polls until next year or 2013.

Zuma, Sadc and the two MDC formations, however, want all issues in the GPA and election roadmap to be implemented before polls can be held.

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