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08 Aug 2013 10:07
Robert Mugabe and Jacob Zuma. (AP)
Zanu-PF's Robert Mugabe and the MDC-T's Morgan Tsvangirai entered into a shaky unity government in February 2009.
That accord stipulated a number of reforms that were aimed at creating conditions necessary for a free and fair poll following the holding of a string of disputed elections in Zimbabwe, but Zanu-PF resisted most of the reforms, which included media and security sector amendments.
The MDC-T is preparing to challenge the outcome of last week's poll, citing a manipulated voters' roll, ineligible voters who were allowed to vote and the transporting of people to vote in urban areas.
Addressing journalists in Harare, the head of the Southern African Development Community observer mission, Bernard Membe, said the bloc's official position is that Zuma's facilitation effort must continue to find common ground.
He added that, in its preliminary statement, SADC was of the view that the election was free and peaceful, but the question about whether or not the election was indeed fair would be addressed in a report that would be released in a month's time.
Zanu-PF's spokesperson, Joram Gumbo, said his party was of the view that Zuma's role was no longer necessary. "We believe that Mugabe's landslide victory has put an end to facilitation.
There is no need for facilitation in Zimbabwe any more."
Ricky Mukonza, a public management lecturer at South Africa's Tshwane University of Technology, said unless the MDC-T is able to provide irrefutable evidence for vote- rigging claims, Zuma's facilitation services in Zimbabwe would not be necessary.
"He [Zuma] as well might be tired of the Zimbabwean issue, as shown by his early congratulatory message.
"Zimbabwe will not be a priority for him going forward," said Mukonza.
By the time of going to print, SADC had not responded to questions pertaining to its mediation efforts in Zimbabwe.
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