Zuma, who took over facilitation of Zimbabwe’s political talks from his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki, was in Harare yesterday on a private visit.
Lindiwe Zulu, who is part of the South African mediation team, told the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday Zuma would return to Zimbabwe “soon” to engage President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, whose power-sharing differences have stalled economic recovery.
“He will return to Zimbabwe before the Sadc summit because we have to be ready with a report on Zimbabwe by the time Sadc meets,” said Zulu in a telephone interview from South Africa.
“What should happen is that President Zuma should provide the Sadc Troika (on Politics, Defence and Security) with his own report, which will form the basis of the report to be given to the Sadc summit by the Troika. Right now he (Zuma) is studying the report given to him by Zimbabwe’s principals and as you know there are outstanding issues that we have to deal with before the Sadc summit.”
His visit yesterday was to pay homage to Welshman Ncube, the Minister of Industry and Commerce, whose son is married to Zuma’s daughter.
He met President Mugabe at State House and spoke briefly to reporters at the airport before departure
Ncube’s father died last month, but Zuma could not make the trip because of tight World Cup engagements.
Zimbabwe’s recovery has stalled because Mugabe and Tsvangirai still cannot agree on several issues related to their September 15 2008 power-sharing pact also known as the Global Political Agreement.
Sticking issues include the swearing-in of Roy Bennett as Tsvangirai’s choice for the Deputy Agriculture ministerial post, appointment of provincial governors, and the fate of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono, whom the MDC say were appointed without consultation.