U.S Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton says she will push
South Africa to do more to counter embattled President Robert Mugabe's negative
effect on the Zimbabwe reform process.
But Mugabe supporters have dismissed her
comments as external interference, saying Zimbabweans are capable of resolving
their own problems.
comment comes a day ahead of her scheduled meeting with top South African
government officials on Friday.
South African President Jacob Zuma met earlier
this week with Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai in an effort to
address concerns that are threatening to undermine the coalition government.
Political analyst Somadoda Fikeni told VOA that Washington
doesn't see Mugabe as playing a pivotal role in resolving the Zimbabwe crisis.
has never accepted Robert Mugabe as a partner in resolving this matter, so they
grudgingly embraced what the African Union and SADC (Southern African
Development Community) have decided on in terms of the government of national
unity," Fikeni said.
said Pretoria will ensure Secretary Clinton knows the steps taken to resolve the
will happen is that South Africa will say we've already discussed with Morgan
Tsvangirai and promised to intervene again to prop up the peace process, which
seemingly is ailing at the moment," he said.
said there are no reasons to believe that South Africa would be pushed to do
more in neighboring Zimbabwe.
"They (South Africa) won't
it is because of American pressure that they are actually putting more pressure
on Zimbabweans to resolve the matter," Fikeni said.
He said both Pretoria and
Washington are seeking to warm up diplomatic ties from the frosty relationship
of recent years.
"Remember that this is an
era where the South African new administration and American new administration
are trying to mend things after what has been a chilly relationship in the
(Thabo) Mbeki administration and George Bush administration," he said.
Meanwhile, President Robert Mugabe has refused to meet
the outgoing U.S ambassador James McGee the man he once described as a
"house Negro". McGee had wanted to pay a courtesy call, as is the
norm with outgoing ambassadors.
a recent meeting in Libya, Mugabe also verbally abused Johnnie Carson, the top
U.S diplomat to Africa calling him an idiot, after describing his predecessor, Jendayi
Frazer as "that little girl trotting around the globe like a prostitute.
Fikeni said it will not be a
surprise that President Mugabe will dismiss Secretary Clinton's remarks ahead
of her scheduled meeting with officials in Pretoria.
"He will repeat what he has
always said and what he said recently when he visited the family of his late
deputy president (Joseph Msika) that the Zimbabwe problems would be solved by
Zimbabweans. So I think that has become his touchline… to most of what is
perceived as external interference or what he will present as external
interference," Fikeni said.
Secretary Clinton is
also scheduled to pay a courtesy call on South Africa's former President Nelson