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S. African President to Again Join Zimbabwe Political Talks 


South African President Jacob Zuma is making a visit to Zimbabwe to try to unblock outstanding issues of the political agreement that led to a power-sharing government between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. He will again join talks with Zimbabwe's leaders.

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change has several problems it has repeatedly said it wants fixed. Among them is its accusation that President Robert Mugabe made key senior civil-service appointments before the formation of a unity government.

The Movement for Democratic Change has communicated with the Southern African Development Community, which mediated the unity government deal and guarantees the agreement. The Zimbabwe party said it was concerned by Mr. Mugabe's reappointment of Central Bank Governor Gideon Gono and choice of Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, a public supporter of Zanu PF.

Mr. Tsvangirai says he is also concerned about the arrests of MDC legislators, and the failure of Mr. Mugabe to swear in MDC provincial governors and Deputy Agriculture Minister Roy Bennett.

A senior political scientist at the University of Zimabwbe, Eldred Masunungure, says he believes Mr. Zuma, as chairman of SADC, has been late in addressing obstacles to full implementation of the political agreement.

He says ongoing arrests of MDC legislators shows the behavior and attitude of the police has not changed, and because Mr. Zuma's leadership of SADC is coming to an end this is a "scary" time for Zimbabweans.

But Mr. Tsvangirai says he remains hopeful Mr. Zuma's efforts will bring finality to outstanding issues.

"President Zuma is not coming here as prosecutor or a judge, but as chairman of SADC and guarantors of the agreement," he said. "All he wants to see is the agreement implemented and on that score I am very optimistic."

In parliament in Cape Town, President Zuma confirmed he will be discussing matters of concern raised by Mr. Tsvangirai.

Talks between the principals who signed the Zimbabwe political agreement, Mr. Mugabe, Mr. Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, are to begin early Friday with President Zuma.

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