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Zimbabweans Hope For Firmer Pretoria Policy Under Presumptive President Zuma

Many Zimbabweans expect and hope for a firmer policy on their country from Pretoria under South Africa's presumptive next president, Jacob Zuma, than the "quiet diplomacy" approach of his predecessor but one in the regional powerhouse's top office, Thabo Mbeki.

With about 50 percent of voting districts reporting Thursday in South Africa's general election, Zuma's ruling African National Congress had piled up a comfortable lead on other parties though the official results were not to be released until Saturday.

VOA Correspondent Delia Robertson reported Johannesburg that observers uniformly said the election was free, fair and well-run.

With Zuma all but certain to become South African president, political analysts said he was likely to be more proactive and effective in tackling Zimbabwean issues than Mbeki.

Democracy and Governance Program Manager Joy Mabenge of the Institute For a Democratic Zimbabwe and Peter Kagwanja, president of the Africa Policy Institute, both said Zuma stood to more outspoken about misgovernance and democratic failings in Harare.

But Mabenge told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that some Zimbabweans doubt whether Zuma will put aside Mbeki's low-key diplomacy and vocally challenge President Robert Mugabe and ZANU-PF.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...