The negotiators, some of whom have expressed their disappointment over the principals’ failure to implement the agreed positions and iron out sticky points, told the Zimbabwe Independent they had briefed their principals and the facilitator on all the agreed positions as well as the niggling issues so that they implement them and also find solutions.
“Everything is finished, we have handed over the remaining matters to the principals,” said Zanu PF negotiator, Patrick Chinamasa.
Zuma’s international relations advisor and spokesperson of his facilitation team Lindiwe Zulu confirmed on Wednesday that the negotiators had completed their job adding her boss would meet the principals, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, soon to ensure they move with speed to implement the GPA. She said Zuma would insist on the implementation of the GPA and the election roadmap before any polls.
Zuma’s impending visit comes at a time when relations between the inclusive government partners continue to deteriorate with Zanu PF pushing for elections this year, with or without a new constitution, while Tsvangirai is crying foul over Mugabe’s unilateral appointments and his failure to implement agreed issues.
The principals met on Wednesday to resolve some of the bottlenecks.
Zuma is likely to visit Zimbabwe before the next Sadc summit which the regional bloc’s executive secretary Tomaz Salomao said would be held later this month. Salomao was quoted saying the summit would deal with trouble spots in the region, including Zimbabwe, among other issues. He was, however, not reachable yesterday to confirm the dates and specific agenda.
Zulu said Zuma would insist elections should only be held when all the provisions of the GPA and the election roadmap have been met, in line with Sadc’s position.
She said: “It’s true the negotiators have finished their work. They have presented a report to the facilitator and indicated they have done their best and handed over the outstanding issues to the principals. The facilitator agreed to engage the principals and would have done so last year but was delayed because of the ANC centenary celebrations and African Union summit.”
Zulu said Zuma had indicated he would dedicate time to his facilitation role in Zimbabwe after the official opening of the South African parliament which was scheduled for yesterday evening. She said her boss had not changed his stance on Zimbabwe and was hoping all parties move with speed to ensure they create an environment conducive for free and fair elections to avoid another disputed poll.
“The agenda has not changed at all. The facilitator and Sadc still want the GPA and the election roadmap implemented. We are hoping that this year things will move faster so that we meet the process we agreed on,” said Zulu.
“The facilitator is very clear and has made it clear for a long time that it’s not up to him to decide when elections will be held. It’s up to Zimbabweans, but one thing is clear and that is that the environment must be conducive. The institutions which we agreed must be created should be in place and functional before elections.The bottom line is that what happened in 2008 must never happen in the next election. We don’t want a repeat of that.”