SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma cannot prescribe solutions for the stand-off between parties to the coalition government when he visits the country to help negotiate a deal for fresh elections, Deputy Premier Arthur Mutambara has insisted.
“Zuma will help us help ourselves. He cannot impose solutions or positions. We are a sovereign nation and buck stops with us as Zimbabweans,” Mutambara told Parliament Monday.
Zuma is the SADC regional grouping’s facilitator for Zimbabwe and is expected to visit the country in the next two weeks to try and negotiate a deal for the holding of new elections.
Parties to the GPA agree the coalition government has been rendered unworkable due to policy and other differences but cannot agree on the timing and conditions for new elections.
President Robert Mugabe and his Zanu PF party have want the elections held this year while the MDC formations insist reforms they believe are crucial to ensuring a free and fair ballot and were agreed as part of the GPA deal must be implemented first.
But implementation of the reforms has been slow with the writing of a constitution held back by disagreements over issues such as dual citizenship and devolution while the MDC formations also claim Zanu PF is deliberately blocking media, electoral and other key reforms.
Mutambara down-played the optimism over Zuma’s visit, insisting role SADC media could only facilitate dialogue between the parties adding it was up to Zimbabweans to resolve their problems.
“We have got a task as Zimbabweans to work together, to agree on things we need to do, where we disagree, we find each other and where possible, Zuma can help us,” he said.
“Let us not be dreamers. Reforms will come from us, not Zuma or SADC.”
President Robert Mugabe has also previously said he would not take instructions from colleagues on how to run the country.
"MDC-T thinks that Sadc or AU can tell us how we can do our business or how to implement what we have agreed. We are a sovereign State and as a sovereign State we don't accept any interference and even our neighbours should not tell us what to do," the Zanu PF leader told a party meeting last April.
"A facilitator is a facilitator and should facilitate dialogue between Zimbabweans by way of persuasion. That is the best he can do. He cannot prescribe that we do A, B, C, D. We prescribe to ourselves to do A, B, C, and D in accordance with our own laws.”