News24

Zanu-PF blames sanctions

2009-08-27 13:32

Harare - Western sanctions on Zimbabwe are interfering with the work of the new unity government, President Robert Mugabe's party said on Thursday ahead of a visit by South African leader Jacob Zuma.

"Our position is very clear. We hope our principal, President Robert Mugabe, tells President Zuma that the outstanding issues are that of sanctions and external interference," said Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Mugabe's lead negotiator in the unity talks.

Chinamasa insisted that his party had met its obligations under the unity accord, known as the Global Political Agreement, and dismissed concerns raised by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the erstwhile opposition party that is now a partner in the strained unity government.

"The so-called outstanding issues, which are the issues of the (Central Bank) governor and the attorney general, are nowhere in the Global Political Agreement," he said.

Ease tensions

"This is meant to distract attention from the inclusive government," he said. "There is continued external interference in our private affairs."

Mugabe joined a unity government in February with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister.

The former rivals remain deadlocked over the appointment of the Central Bank chief, blamed for presiding over the collapse of the local currency, and the attorney general who continues to prosecute MDC supporters despite guarantees of political freedoms in the unity accord.

Zuma is due in Harare later on Thursday at the start of a two-day trip to meet with Zimbabwe's leaders in a bid to ease the tensions while pushing for a deal to facilitate South African investment in the cash-strapped economy.