Zuma heads to Zim to assess progress

2012-08-15 14:01

Harare - South African President Jacob Zuma heads to Zimbabwe on Wednesday for briefings on reforms by the unity government, which is inching toward the first balloting since deadly 2008 polls.

Zuma hasn't visited Zimbabwe since 2010, but after years of stalling, the country last month finished a draft constitution that could send voters to a referendum by the end of the year.

That would be the first balloting since a 2008 presidential run-off that long-ruling Robert Mugabe won - after his arch-rival Morgan Tsvangirai pulled out of the race in hopes of ending attacks that left more than 200 of his supporters dead.

Under intense regional pressure, they formed a unity government tasked with drafting a new constitution and enshrining greater political freedoms - with the ultimate goal of new elections.

Zuma now wants an update on the constitution-making process, before heading to a regional summit on Friday in Maputo.

"President Zuma is coming to be given an update by the principals on the progress made so far," Mugabe's spokesperson George Charamba told AFP.

"President Zuma is not going to negotiate anything or push for anything. His visit comes against a background of tremendous progress made in terms of the constitution-making process and in respect of the consolidation of peace in the country."

Zuma is scheduled to meet separately with Mugabe and Tsvangirai, Charamba said. He will also meet with Welshman Ncube, who heads a faction of Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change and whose son is married to one of Zuma's daughters.

The constitution

The work of the compromise government has been characterised by frequent haggling over government posts and counter-accusations of violence.

The parties have both threatened to pull out of the power-sharing government.

Early this year, Mugabe threatened to reject Zuma as negotiator if he showed any bias in his mediation.

Zuma will want to shepherd Zimbabwe toward its referendum, which if held later this year could lead to elections in 2013.

The draft constitution would rein in presidential powers while bolstering those of parliament. It would also set down a presidential term limit of 10 years and strip away the president's immunity from prosecution after leaving office.

The MDC has endorsed the draft charter as the best basic law in the country's history, adding that it would be a lost chance if the proposed constitution is rejected.

Mugabe's Zanu-PF says it wants parts of the constitution amended before it is passed - particularly on issues of who can receive citizenship and how provincial governors are appointed.

  • stefan.kruger.1297 - 2012-08-15 14:26

    You mean Zuma Heads to Zim to chill with he's best buddy, and discuss how they are going to take South Africa for themselves just like Mugabe did...

      patrick.buckley.712 - 2012-08-15 14:44

      The ridiculous checking up on the obscene!

      chris.novak.9235 - 2012-08-15 14:51

      Its more like he is getting pointers from bob to see how he can run this country like a dictatorship!

      chris.novak.9235 - 2012-08-15 14:54

      Inferno plane crash please Lord?

      nrgx.nrg - 2012-08-15 15:02

      this guy still think going backwards is a form of progress

      bob.mcmillen.564 - 2012-08-15 15:05

      Well he might as well, I mean everything is just perfect here, he can pass on his wisdom on how to run a country, this just gets more laughable by the day, perhaps he's going to learn from the master how to accelerate the destruction of a country.

      ettienne.hattingh - 2012-08-15 15:29

      What the hell for. He does nothing here. What is he going to achive over there. Have a cup of tea with Bob and ask him how his afternoon nap was.

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-15 15:51

      And the report will be??? Everything is perfectly fine, all in order and on track. I have spoken to my Comrade and I can assure you everything is above board and proceeding very well............ - 2012-08-15 16:30

      This f#$cken idiot can't even get things right in South Africa now he wants to help screw up Zimbabwe further. Does this idiot even have a brain for crying out loud. Forever sticking his Penis shaped head in everywhere it is not wanted. moron

  • neville.chamberlain.509 - 2012-08-15 14:27

    We could probably do that from Bloemfontein. Mmmmmm....nothing's changed.

  • frederick.thipe - 2012-08-15 14:29

    Let him stay there!!!!!!

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-08-15 15:54

      I guess he will come back to tell us what a paradise Zim has become.

  • maseratifittipaldi - 2012-08-15 14:33

    African Games. It is the opening and closing ceremonies that attract us so. What a wonderful feeling, walking on a red carpet.

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-08-15 14:36

    Oh my word! This is very demoralising for me as a SA citizen. I have a president that is watching his own country burn and does nothing to prove his leadership and stop the rot. Instead he chooses to prioritise the problems of another country. What on earth do you have a ministry of foreign affairs for? Let them attend to foreign policy matters. Twit!

  • andrew.mackie.90 - 2012-08-15 14:55

    What a load of manure, we know the progress is rather regress in Zim, so our esteemed President must visit to do what? Hold Uncle Bob's hand and ask him how he managed to destroy Zim, so as to be able to continue doing so in RSA. Do we have everything under control here so as to allow for this visit, and pray tell how will he effect any improvement for the people of Zim, when he cannot do it here at home.

      chris.novak.9235 - 2012-08-15 14:58

      its the blind leading the blind!

  • gillian.sanderson - 2012-08-15 15:01

    blind leading the blind

  • maxie.ellse - 2012-08-15 15:11

    I can't believe that the so-called President of South Africa is NEVER in South Africa. He must have so many frequent flier miles. Does he really not see the problems on his own doorstep. Lonmin Mine is a good example where the country is going. Service delivery protests everywhere but come election time the masses will be given a T-shirt or cap and empty promises for the next few years.

  • philip.vde - 2012-08-15 15:24

    he can't even assess the progress in South Africa !!!

      tommo.too - 2012-08-16 01:02

      Progress in south africa????

  • Hermann - 2012-08-15 15:27

    Whose side will he take? Probably the side of the skunk.

  • jaysonpaul.beckwith - 2012-08-15 15:28

    Hey mr zoomie. Why don't you first try get your ducks in a line before you go poking that big ol fat nose of yours in other country's business.

  • phosa.peter2 - 2012-08-15 15:34

    Mugabe will want to know 'why firing malema? On what ground he took that decision..hope zuma had answers For uncle BoB.

  • Michael - 2012-08-15 15:38

    Each Zuma is mentioned here at news24, comments that follows are so predictable, this is boring, especially because the man is enjoying his presidency, he fly business class, if he is travelling by road, his car is always sarrounded by security vehicles and you do move off for him to go on with his business,and who told you people that the country is disfunctional? Why dont you go to Australia and be happy there, we will be happy here also. Jeez, you complai everyday.

      bob.mcmillen.564 - 2012-08-15 15:55

      Michael, why don't you and your ANC loving pals go to Australia, then we will be happy here, oh I forgot you need an education to get accepted into Australia, that rules out that idea.

      gerhard.kress.3 - 2012-08-15 15:59

      Yes I complain because nothing is right. We are going backwards. Where will you be in a few years?

      Michael - 2012-08-15 16:15

      @bob, i do have an education that enables me to travell the World, and i travel a lot, i have been to Australia already, thats not important anyway, look this Zuma you complain about everyday is going to be your president again for another 5 years, but its ok, just choose to continue with yourcomplaints, maybe that makes you feel better.

      BigChiefPlumbPudding - 2012-08-15 16:48

      Actually Michael, your writing skills show you to be a bit of a nincompoop, I don't know about educated, so do your views on Zuma - another president "enjoying his presidency" at your expense and delivering sweet blow all. This is OK with you? Mind boggling you people who blindly follow the blind.

  • maokeng.mankge - 2012-08-15 17:50

    Hahaha Zuma since when are u capable of solving problems shower man..All u can do is destroy our country.Mugabe shuld moer you when u flirt in his country

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