A political analyst says South African President Jacob Zuma did not put enough pressure to ensure President Robert Mugabe resolves the ongoing stalemate in Zimbabwe’s coalition government.
Rejoice Ngwenya said President Zuma missed a great opportunity to resolve the ongoing crisis as he ends a three-day official visit to Zimbabwe Thursday.
“Frankly speaking, President Zuma has been very disappointing because he has given too many excuses why Mr. Robert Mugabe should not be called upon to account on reneging on the agreement. And really we feel that he lacks the depth to be able to deal with Mugabe’s political chicanery… and I don’t think he is going to move Mugabe much,” He said.
Mr. Zuma is backed by the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to resolve the Zimbabwe crisis after years of sharp disagreements between President Mugabe’s ZANU-PF and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC party recently boycotted cabinet meetings after accusing President Mugabe of refusing to fully implement the Global Political Agreement that led to the formation of the unity government.
Ngwenya said President Zuma should have been tougher on the partners in the coalition government.
“We want him to be firm with both parties. We know that the issue of sanctions even if it is a so-called contentious issue is beyond MDC’s control. Now, we also know that the aspect of the agreement to freedom in the media the violation of human rights and so forth are only associated with ZANU-PF and Mugabe. He (Zuma) hasn’t mentioned that (and) our feeling is that he hasn’t been firm enough with Robert Mugabe,” Ngwenya said.
Zimbabwe media reported both Mr. Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai were positive after meeting separately with President Zuma.
Ngwenya said there is need for reforms that would ensure credible elections in the future.
“The caveat is that unless the electoral playing field has been leveled; the freedom of association, criminal codification and all the other elements that had been impediments to the people of Zimbabwe expressing themselves in the ballot box, the talk of elections is just another myth,” Ngwenya said.
During his recent official visit to the United Kingdom, Mr. Zuma asked Britain and other international donors to lift the sanctions against Zimbabwe contending that the sanctions against President Mugabe’s regime are suffocating the unity government.