STATE Security Minister Sydney Sekeramayi met Tanzanian leader Jakaya Kikwete Saturday as President Robert Mugabe steps up his campaign to win SADC backing for elections he wants held this year.
Sekeramayi travelled to Tanzania with a special message from Mugabe after meeting Zambia’s Michael Sata in Lusaka last Tuesday.
Before him, Defence Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa had also travelled to Angola to deliver a special message to President José Eduardo dos Santos.
According to local reports, Sekeramayi also briefed the Tanzanian leader on progress made in the implementation of reforms agreed under the Global Political Agreement (GPA).
He said although progress had been made in ongoing efforts to write a new constitution, discussions continued over issues such as devolution of power and dual citizenship.
Kikwete said he would continue to support Zimbabwe’s efforts to resolve its internal problems.
“I would like to assure President Mugabe that Tanzania will continue to support Zimbabwe to secure a permanent political settlement,” he said.
Mugabe needs the backing of the SADC region as he faces down his rivals over demands for fresh polls this year.
SADC, whose point-man in Zimbabwe is South African leader Jacob Zuma, helped negotiate the GPA and the coalition government following the violent but inconclusive 2008 Presidential ballot. Zuma is now facilitating dialogue over key reforms expected to lead to new elections.
Parties to the coalition government agree the administration is no longer workable because of policy and other differences.
But Mugabe’s rivals, with the tacit backing of Zuma, want key reforms implemented before new elections can be held to ensure a credible the ballot.
MDC-T leader and Prime Minister, Morgan Tsvangirai has since said new elections are only viable in March next year.
Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara has also warned against rushing the elections.
“The ultimate deadline (for new elections) March 2013,” Mutambara said recently.
“(But) we must go through these reforms very carefully; the Constitution, media reforms, political reforms, electoral reforms, national healing, and security sector alignment, economic reforms.
“This means seven types of reforms. These reforms require time and that time will determine when our elections will take place.”