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Mail & Guardian Online reporter and Sapa, Sapa-AFP03 Aug 2009 15:05
Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday met with South African President Jacob Zuma at the African National Congress headquarters, Luthuli House, in Johannesburg.
Tsvangirai, who has been prime minister for five months, briefed Zuma on the progress the country’s unity government has made in dealing with unresolved issues.
Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has claimed a recent crackdown on its members, following the arrests of several lawmakers, which it says are aimed at robbing the party of its slim parliamentary majority.
The MDC joined President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party in a fragile coalition government set up on February 13, nearly a year after disputed polls, in an agreement brokered by the regional Southern African Development Community (SADC) bloc.
“The prime minister is here to talk about what progress has been made in Zimbabwe and what issues are difficult to resolve,” said Zuma.
Tsvangirai told the press that he saw fit to brief Zuma about his country’s progress because of his position in the region.
“It’s been five months since the unity government, and I have updated president Zuma on the progress as the chairperson of the Southern African Development Community,” he said.
According to Zuma, the majority of the issues in Zimbabwe have been dealt with and the government has “moved forward”.
“There are very few, yet very weighty, issues that have not been resolved. But these issues should not be deadlocked to the end,” Zuma said, adding that he will be in contact with Mugabe and SADC leaders on those matters that remain unresolved.
Zimbabwe’s government has halted an economic meltdown after record-breaking hyperinflation, but the former rivals have failed to agree on several outstanding issues such as the control of the country’s security forces.
Key appointments such the central bank chief and the attorney general have been referred for regional mediation.
The unity government was created to end the violence that erupted after disputed election results led to a political deadlock, crippling the country’s economy and sending millions of Zimbabweans fleeing into South Africa.
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