Zuma to meet with Zim leaders

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
By: 
Bathandwa Mbola

Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma is expected to travel to Zimbabwe later this week for a working visit, during which he will hold meetings with that country's leaders.

In his capacity as Chairperson of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the President will meet with President Robert Mugabe, leader of ZANU-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutumbara of the two MDC formations, on Friday.

He is to be briefed on the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), signed in September 2008, which paved the way for the formation of the unity government in February 2009.

The inclusive government has been dogged with sticking points which have hampered progress.

President Zuma's trip, his first to Zimbabwe since he was inaugurated as South Africa's President in May, comes less than a month after he met with the country's new Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in Johannesburg.

After that meeting, Mr Zuma committed to discussing "very weighty issues" about the power-sharing deal with President Mugabe.

The MDC has claimed that the ZANU-PF flouted the GPA when President Mugabe unilaterally appointed Johannes Tomana as Attorney-General and Gideon Gono as Reserve Bank Governor without any prior consultation.

President Mugabe has also not appointed provincial governors, most of whom are expected to be MDC supporters as reflected in the 2008 poll results.He has also refused to swear in Roy Bennett as Deputy Agriculture Minister.

But the ZANU-PF has claimed that the MDC is not doing enough to persuade western countries to lift sanctions targeting senior members of the party.

The instability of the unity government has also led to investments in the country being put on hold.

While in the country, President Zuma is also expected to attend the 99th Harare Agricultural Show.