South African President Jacob Zuma arrived in Zimbabwe on Tuesday to hold talks with President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, in a bid to unblock the tense standoff between the two leaders.
AFP - South African President Jacob Zuma arrived in Zimbabwe on Tuesday for fresh talks aimed at easing tensions within the year-old unity government.
President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai both greeted him at the airport, in a rare joint appearance by the feuding leaders.
The rivals formed a unity government in February last year under stiff international pressure, aiming to end an economic freefall and curb deadly political violence after disputed presidential elections in 2008.
They have deadlocked over a slate of key appointments, including the central bank governor and the attorney general, while Tsvangirai complains that his supporters remain the target of official persecution.
The unity government has staunched Zimbabwe's economic haemmorrhaging, but made little progress in drafting a new constitution that is meant to guide the country toward new elections.
Negotiators from both sides said the two leaders would meet with Zuma on Wednesday, after preliminary talks with his aides on Monday.
"The principles will meet tomorrow," said Elton Mangoma, the economic planning minister and negotiator for Tsvangirai.
"We have briefed the facilitation team on the outstanding issues, where progress has been made, and on issues which we have not yet discussed," Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Mugabe's lead negotiator, told AFP.
The 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) has tasked Zuma with mediating in Zimbabwe. Zuma has named a team of negotiators that has interacted with the rival parties since December, though little tangible progress has been made.
Date created : 2010-03-17