Former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is reportedly calling
on South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki to ensure a speedy and
robust mediation process to resolve Zimbabwe's political and economic crisis.
Annan who made the call on behalf of a group of elders statesman world leaders
including Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter and Desmond Tutu adds that there was
need to end what he describes as Zimbabwe's governance crisis to end the
suffering of the ordinary people.
call was contained in a speech after he was conferred with an honorary
doctorate in literature and philosophy yesterday at the University of South
Africa in Pretoria. From Cape Town, political analyst Herman Hanekom tells
reporter Peter Clottey that although Annan's call is pragmatic, it would be
difficult for Mbeki to implement.
think it is very realistic to a degree, but if we look at the past, prior to 27
June presidential elections, the MDC (Zimbabwe's main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change) has called for the African Union to appoint a co-mediator to
function alongside Thabo Mbeki as mediator in the Zimbabwe crisis. And there is
enough cause and reason to support MDC calls because Mbeki has not been 100
percent neutral. But if Mbeki wants to make the goal point, he must accept,
let's say, one of the eminent African negotiators, one of the past presidents
to be brought into the process with him. If he (President Mbeki) believes he
was neutral, prove the MDC to have been incorrect," Hanekom
said it would be difficult for President Mbeki to be significantly influenced
by the group of elders to resolve Zimbabwe's crisis.
do not believe they can influence them (Zimbabwe rivals), but I do firmly
believe that they can be a major broker component in the process because those
elders are not idiots. They are people who have suffered. They are people who
have been insulted through history, and they know what running around the block
is about. And I think it is a very important note to be taken of the positive
input those elders can bring into the process," he said.
said statements from President Mbeki and South Africa's ruling African National
Congress (ANC) party have shown rifts within the party's rank and file.
"The bone of contention in
this case is that the African National
Congress, the governing party in South Africa, is divided between two factions
in a basic process. And I think within the two factions, we will find, like in
Zimbabwe, MDC and ZANU-PF (Zimbabwe's ruling party), we will find smaller
factions. But in South Africa, we have the situation that we have the African
National Congress with Jacob Zuma as the leader of the party's faction, and we
have Thabo Mbeki as the leader of the governing section, in conflict with one
another. And that bodes evil for both South Africa itself, as well as the
negotiation process, the mediation process in Zimbabwe," Hanekom