SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma has reportedly assured Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai that he would do everything he can as facilitator to the Zimbabwe crisis to pressure President Robert Mugabe to implement electoral and other reforms agreed to by partners in the inclusive government.
Report by Wonai Masvingise
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka told NewsDay yesterday the South African leader took a tough stance against Mugabe during a closed-door meeting with the MDC-T president on Sunday in Pretoria.
Tsvangirai left Harare on Sunday to embark on a regional tour to apprise Sadc and African Union (AU) leaders of the political situation in Zimbabwe.
“President Zuma told the Prime Minister that Sadc and the AU, as the guarantors of the GPA (Global Political Agreement), will do everything in their power to ensure a free and fair poll inZimbabwe,” said Tamborinyoka.
“The meeting with President Zuma was the first in the Prime Minister’s regional tour to sensitise Heads of State on developments in Zimbabwe where the guarantors, Sadc and the African Union, should ensure that the environment is conducive for the holding of a free and fair election.”
Tamborinyoka said particular emphasis was put on the implementation of electoral reforms which would produce a conducive environment for a free and fair poll.
“In particular was the need to implement all outstanding reforms under the GPA, chief among which are public media reforms, security sector realignment, a clean and credible voters roll and the alignment of laws to the new constitution,” he said.
He added that Tsvangirai was looking forward to a Sadc Troika and full summit in which the issues would be discussed.
Tsvangirai also met United States-based human rights activist Jesse Jackson in Johannesburg where Jackson indicated that he would visit Zimbabwe soon to check on the human rights situation.
After South Africa, Tsvangirai left for Tanzania yesterday where he was expected to meet with President Jakaya Kikwete, the Sadc Troika chairperson, before taking his campaign to Mozambican leader Armando Guebuza and Namibian Prime Minister Hage Geingob later this week.
The facilitation team’s spokesperson Lindiwe Zulu yesterday said she was not aware of the meeting between Zuma and Tsvangirai.
“I am far away from President Zuma right now. I will only get to know about the meeting after I meet him,” Zulu said yesterday.
Zuma’s spokesperson Mac Maharaj last night promised to give NewsDay details of the Zuma-Tsvangirai meeting and also to confirm whether or not the South African President was indeed headed for Zimbabwe this week where he is expected to meet the GPA principals over the issue of electoral and other reforms.
The facilitation team is, however, expected in the country today.