The Southern African Development Community is pushing hard for a meeting between Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader and prime minister designate Morgan Tsvangirai in hopes of resuscitating the troubled power-sharing process.
A senior SADC official told VOA that the regional group is urging Tsvangirai to return to Harare from Botswana, currently his base, for such a meeting.
The official said SADC has cautioned Mr. Mugabe against trying to unilaterally form a so-called national unity government without Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change.
Tsvangirai declined an invitation from Mr. Mugabe to become prime minister in the proposed government, insisting on a meeting to iron out unresolved issues in which South African President and SADC Chairman Kgalema Motlanthe would take part.
Tsvangirai was in South Africa on Tuesday consulting with top MDC officials. Mr. Mugabe was in Malaysia on what Harare has described as his annual leave.
Political analyst Charles Mangongera told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that a meeting between Mugabe and Tsvangirai is the key to unblocking the months-long impasse in power-sharing to yield a unity government.