Zuma winds up Zimbabwe visit, says leaders agree on package of measures

08:41, March 19, 2010      

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South African President Jacob Zuma said Thursday that Zimbabwe's three political parties in the power-sharing government have agreed on a package of measures to be implemented concurrently in line with the decision of the SADC troika on politics, defense and security last November.

In a statement after a series of meetings with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara and their negotiators, Zuma said he was encouraged by the commitment shown in trying to address outstanding issues in the power-sharing Global Political Agreement.

The negotiating teams will meet on March 25, 26 and 29, after which they will report to Zuma on whether or not they have reached agreements on all outstanding issues.

"The parties have agreed to a package of measures to be implemented concurrently as per the decision of the SADC troika in Maputo," he said.

The troika summit was convened after Tsvangirai had announced his party's partial disengagement from the inclusive government, alleging lack on sincerity by Mugabe and his party.

"I am very encouraged by the spirit of cooperation displayed by the leaders and all the parties. I believe that the implementation of this package will take the process forward substantially," he said.

Zuma also said the principals to the GPA, Mugabe, Tsvangirai and Mutambara, had instructed their negotiators to complete their deliberations this month and report back to Zuma on progress made by March 31.

Zuma said he will present a comprehensive report to the chairperson of the Southern African Development Community Organ on Politics, Defense and Security, Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, after getting feedback from the negotiators.

During the three-day visit, Zuma also met leading Zimbabwean personalities and other stakeholders, including three at the center of disputes among the principals, Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono, Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and Tsvangirai's nominee for the post of deputy agriculture minister in the inclusive government, Roy Bennett.

The three are at the core of disagreements between Mugabe and Tsvangirai's dispute over the interpretation and implementation of the GPA.

Among the outstanding issues, the two MDC factions led by Tsvangirai and Mutambara want Mugabe to reverse the appointments of provincial governors, Gono and Tomana. They want the posts of provincial governors to be allocated according to which party prevailed in the particular province during the 2008 legislative elections.

However, Mugabe and his party Zanu-PF regard the issues as extraneous to the GPA.

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