Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Netanyahu deletes tweet featuring photo of James Foley

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 22 August 2014

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Read more

FOCUS

Lifting the veil over China's air pollution

Read more

ENCORE!

Tango Takeover in Paris

Read more

WEB NEWS

Calls for ISIS media blackout after execution of James Foley

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Steely resolve of reporters exploited by pared-down employers'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

US judge calls Argentina bond swap offer illegal

Read more

  • Merkel in Kiev amid Russian aid convoy ‘escalation’

    Read more

  • US brands journalist’s beheading a ‘terrorist attack’

    Read more

  • Europe launches navigation satellites to rival GPS

    Read more

  • Philippines to repatriate UN troops in Liberia over Ebola fears

    Read more

  • Besieged by problems, Hollande faces unhappy return from summer holidays

    Read more

  • Rights group sues US government over ‘deportation mill’

    Read more

  • Colombian army and FARC rebels begin work on ceasefire

    Read more

  • US National Guard starts to pull out of embattled Missouri town

    Read more

  • PSG fall flat once more against Evian

    Read more

  • Fed Chair says US job market still hampered by Great Recession

    Read more

  • August 22, 1914: The bloodiest day in French military history

    Read more

  • Central African Republic announces coalition cabinet

    Read more

  • Hamas publicly executes "informers"

    Read more

  • French firebrand leftist to quit party presidency, but not politics

    Read more

  • Fear of Ebola sky-high among Air France workers

    Read more

  • US says Islamic State threat 'beyond anything we've seen'

    Read more

  • Malaysia mourns as remains of MH17 victims arrive home

    Read more

  • Interactive: Relive the Liberation of Paris in WWII

    Read more

Africa

Zuma heads to Zimbabwe to ease unity govt tensions

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-27

South African President Jacob Zuma is heading to Zimbabwe Thursday for talks aimed at easing the political deadlock within the strained unity government. Zuma will meet with President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

AFP - South African President Jacob Zuma travels to Zimbabwe on Thursday in a bid to ease tensions within the strained unity government, though analysts held out little hope for a breakthrough.
  
During his two-day visit, Zuma is set to meet with long-ruling President Robert Mugabe and his new partner in government, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.
  
The former rivals formed a unity government in February but remain deadlocked noteably over the appointment of the central bank chief and the attorney general.
  
Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) also says the party's supporters are still harassed by police, despite guarantees of political freedoms in the unity accord.
  
"We hope that his visit will unlock and unblock the political logjam in our country," said Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
  
"We are very optimistic that he will make the best out of his visit."
  
Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba has downplayed the trip, telling state media that Zuma was coming to address the Harare Agricultural Fair on Friday.
  
But Zuma plans to be vocal about Zimbabwe's problems, in contrast to the "quiet diplomacy" of his predecessor Thabo Mbeki, the secretary general of his African National Congress (ANC) told reporters.
  
"President Zuma will be more vocal in terms of what we see as deviant behaviour," Gwede Mantashe told reporters. "If there is deviant behaviour, we will be more vocal... but we will still engage."
  
South Africa, Zimbabwe's biggest trading partner, is a key backer of the unity deal. Zuma's findings will likely inform discussions at the next summit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) next month.
  
"President Zuma will be determined to use the visit to solve the outstanding issues" in the unity government, political analyst Okay Machisa said.
  
"Although he might not find a solution during his two day visit, eventually a solution will be found," Machisa said.
  
"He has a road map on the issues of Zimbabwe and he would want the local politicians to address the welfare of the people and not address their selfish needs.
  
Tsvangirai met Zuma in Johannesburg three weeks ago to brief him on the troubles within the unity government.
  
On Mugabe's side, the 85-year-old leader faces pressure within his own ZANU-PF to avoid any further compromises that would further erode the party's power.
  
The party's politburo earlier this month publicly called on Mugabe "to resist any pressures intended to prejudice the party."
  
The feuding has hindered Zimbabwe's drive to win 8.3 billion US dollars in aid to revive the civil service and jump start the shattered economy.
  
To date the inclusive government has raised just over two billion dollars, mostly coming from continental organisations and China.
  
Takura Zhangazha, director of the Media Institute of Zimbabwe, said he doubted that any breakthrough would come before the SADC summit in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
  
"He will be briefed on the progress and the problems before the SADC summit, but he is obviously not going to solve the main issues before the summit in the DRC," Zhangazha said.
  
One South African government official, in Harare ahead of the trip, insisted Zuma was coming to seek compromise.
  
"There are issues which have to be addressed, but as South Africa we believe that every problem presents a new opportunity," the official told AFP.
  
"Zimbabwe is far much better today than what it was last year, so we believe a compromise will eventually be found."

Date created : 2009-08-27

COMMENT(S)