Africa

Zim thanks SA for role in resolving political crisis

Owen Gagare

Zimbabwe has thanked President Jacob Zuma and his predecessors for the role they played in resolving Zimbabwe’s decade-long political crisis.

Zuma was SADC's point man as the regional bloc pushed for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. Mugabe, however, pushed for elections without fully implementing the GPA and election roadmap. (AFP)

Zimbabwe has expressed its gratitude to President Jacob Zuma and his predecessors – Kgalema Motlanthe and Thabo Mbeki – for the role they played in resolving Zimbabwe’s decade-long political crisis.

Addressing the media in Victoria Falls on Saturday, Foreign Affairs Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi also thanked the Southern African Development Community (SADC) for the role it played in resolving the crisis.

“As Zimbabwe, we would like express our gratitude to SADC, in particular President Zuma and before him, Motlanthe and former president Thabo Mbeki. They worked very hard to resolve the political problems in Zimbabwe,” said Mumbengegwi.

Mbeki was instrumental in crafting the Global Political Agreement (GPA) that created the space for the government of national unity between long-time adversaries President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) formations led by Morgan Tsvangirai and Welshman Ncube.

Zuma was SADC’s point man as the regional bloc pushed for free and fair elections in Zimbabwe. Mugabe, however, pushed for elections without fully implementing the GPA and the election roadmap crafted with the assistance of SADC in defiance of Zuma and other regional heads.

Ahead of elections, Mugabe blasted then-spokesperson of his facilitation team, Lindiwe Zulu, labeling her a “stupid, idiotic streetwoman” after she insisted Zimbabwe would only go to the polls after the election roadmap and GPA were fully realised.

Mumbengegwi, who also chairs the SADC council of ministers, said the role the bloc had played in Zimbabwe and other countries was critical.

“We are also proud of what SADC has done in Madagascar and through patient a diplomatic efforts, successful elections have been held. SADC has also helped a sister state, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). We joined arms and neutralised negative forces destabilising DRC, the M23,” he said.

“Stability has been created and government is now in control of its territory.”

Meanwhile, Zuma arrived in Victoria Falls ahead of the SADC summit of heads of state and government on Sunday.

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