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Zuma to visit Zimbabwe: official
13/08/2012 00:00:00
by Staff Reporter
 
Zimbabwe trip ... Jacob Zuma
 
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SOUTH African President Jacob Zuma will pay a one-day visit to Zimbabwe this week, his spokesman Mac Maharaj said on Monday.

The visit, set for Wednesday, was in his capacity as Southern African Development Community (SADC) mediator in the Zimbabwe impasse.

"It is part of South Africa's responsibility as the SADC mediator to facilitate the implementation of the Global Political Agreement and his ongoing duties to ensure that the country is on the route for a fair, intimidation-free election," Maharaj said.

A team of the President’s aides will arrive in Harare on Tuesday to lay the ground for Zuma’s arrival 24 hours later.
 
Zuma was appointed SADC chief mediator on Zimbabwe in 2009, taking over from his predecessor, Thabo Mbeki.
 
No date had been set yet for Zimbabwe's next elections, which were expected to take place within the next 12 months.
 
A fragile unity government was formed in Zimbabwe in 2009 following disputed elections a year earlier.
 
Zuma’s trip comes ahead of a two-day SADC summit which runs from August 17 to 18 in Maputo, Mozambique.

The South African leader will update his regional counterparts on Zimbabwe’s progress towards political reforms – the highlight of which is a new draft constitution which is causing fissures in the coalitions, with President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party refusing to approve the document which has already been adopted by his MDC rivals Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube.

This weekend’s summit marks the 20th anniversary of the historic signing of the SADC Treaty and Declaration, which led to the creation of this regional bloc.

It will also be the first after the successful election of the SADC candidate, Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, as chair of the African Union Commission.



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