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Zuma to play active role in GPA talks

A high-level source revealed that South Africa, which leads the facilitation process in the Zimbabwe crisis, expressed frustration that the parties to the GPA were not talking enough to end the impasse in the country.

The informant revealed that the Zimbabwean parties were only too keen to discuss their problems at regional summits, but were not talking enough among themselves and this prolonged the stalemate north of the Limpopo.

“When the facilitation team is here, there is so much animosity and you would think people would storm out of meetings because they are not talking enough among themselves,” the source said.

Momentum to end the Zimbabwe crisis was generated in Livingstone, Zambia, the source added, but this was not followed up with action in Zimbabwe.
More steam was generated in Sandton, South Africa, but the informant said while seemingly obscure, the Angola summit could be the most definitive in ending the problems in Zimbabwe.

“Jacob Zuma has said he wants to play a more active role in Zimbabwe so as to speed up the pace of reforms,” the source said.
“Since Angola he has been occupied by diplomatic efforts ahead of the United Nations summit, but now he will have more time to deal with this issue.”
He said he was sceptical that elections could be held next March, as wanted by Zimbabwean leader, President Robert Mugabe.

“There are so many issues involved, the constitution, the roadmap and outstanding issues, it’s almost impossible to see elections being held in March,” he said.

The source said the region, and South Africa in particular, was pushing for people to be seconded to the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (Jomic) despite opposition from Mugabe and his Zanu PF party.

“He (Mugabe) cannot refuse to have more people in Jomic, that is a resolution of Sadc,” he said. “As we speak, the terms of references are being circulated on how Jomic will work.”

As if to confirm South Africa’s increasing interest in Zimbabwe, the country’s ambassador to Zimbabwe, Vusi Mavimbela, told a forum last week that Zuma would play a bigger role following the Angola summit.

“In his report to the Sadc summit Zuma said (he) shall arrange an interface programme with the political principals and how best we can expedite the full implementation of the GPA and help create conditions for a smooth election in Zimbabwe,” he said.

Zuma, the ambassador said, hoped the interaction would help move the process forward and resolve the matters that were still in dispute.
To show the extent of the frustration at the pace of reform in Zimbabwe, Angolan leader, Jose Eduardo Dos Santos, also spoke out about violence and lack of democracy.

Mavimbela said the media had missed the subtle points of the Angola summit and agreed that this could be the most defining yet, regarding reform in Zimbabwe.

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