Zimbabwe talks in break as Mbeki role ends

Thursday November 26 2009


HARARE, Thursday

Zimbabwe’s three governing parties have suspended until Saturday their negotiations on outstanding issues impeding the work of the unity government after three days of marathon meetings.

Officials said the talks were adjourned because some of the negotiators will be out of the country on government business.

On November 6, regional leaders meeting in Mozambique directed the Zimbabwean parties to start the talks in 15 days and conclude them within 30 days.

South African President Jacob Zuma, the new facilitator in the dialogue yesterday also signaled his intention to see the talks concluded within the deadline with the appointment of a high level team to monitor progress.

The next few days

Mr Zuma’s political adviser, Mr Charles Nqakula, special envoy Mac Maharaj and international relations advisor Ms Lindiwe Zulu will visit Zimbabwe in the next few days to inject urgency into the talks.
The talks are being held at a secret location in Harare and so far the negotiations have kept a lid on the deliberations.

Mr Zuma who took over from his predecessor Mr Thabo Mbeki is himself expected in Harare after December 6.

The appointment of the new facilitation team means Mr Mbeki’s role in Zimbabwe has ended.

The Zimbabwean parties are haggling over President Robert Mugabe’s refusal to reverse his unilateral appointment of his cronies to head the central bank and attorney general’s office, pirate radio stations and Western sanctions among a myriad of issues say they will not be bound by the deadline.