Zuma set to call for sanctions repeal in Britain

SOUTH Africa will seek to win British support for an end to targeted sanctions against Zimbabwe during President Jacob Zuma’s state visit to the UK next week.

Zuma, who will be staying at Buckingham Palace, believes the US and European sanctions against President Robert Mugabe and senior officials of his Zanu PF party made it more difficult to establish a viable coalition government in Zimbabwe.

“What have sanctions done to help the situation?” Zuma told the Financial Times in an interview in Pretoria yesterday. “Zanu PF says we are in a cabinet of this unity government. But part of the cabinet can go anywhere in the world for their work and part (the Zanu PF members) can’t go out of the country. This unity government is being suffocated. It is not being allowed to do its job by the big countries.”

Under an agreement brokered by Sadc in September 2008, Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the MDC, agreed to share power.

But the arrangement has been complicated by Mugabe’s refusal to fully comply with the terms of the deal. Zimbabwe’s economy has stabilised since the coalition government opted to dollarise the currency. However, recovery has been hobbled by continuing political uncertainty and the reluctance of international donors to provide more financing to the government.

Tsvangirai’s MDC argues the appointments of central bank chief, Gideon Gono, and Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, violated the terms of the accord.

The party has also contested the refusal to swear-in Roy Bennett, the MDC treasurer, as deputy Agriculture minister. –– Financial Times.

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