Zuma appoints new Zimbabwe team

President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday appointed a new team to monitor Zimbabwe’s troubled unity government accord, ending former president Thabo Mbeki’s mediation role, his office said.

“As part of the evaluation process, the facilitation team will be visiting Zimbabwe at a date to be announced,” presidential spokesperson Vincent Magwenya said.

“Former president Thabo Mbeki’s role was in the context of him being the head of state,” Magwenya said.

Mbeki, who stood down as president in September 2008, led a team of mediators who brokered the power-sharing deal signed by President Robert Mugabe and his long-term rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, who became prime minister.

The unity government formed in February this year has been fraught with power struggles, which saw Tsvangirai boycott it for three weeks in October.

The stand-off was later resolved by regional leaders at a special summit in Mozambique.

“The facilitation team will soon engage with the parties as emissaries of the president, and report back to him,” said the statement.

The team consists of former Cabinet ministers Charles Nqakula, Mac Maharaj and Zuma’s international relations adviser, Lindiwe Zulu.—Sapa-AFP

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