Thursday, November 22, 2007

Mbeki to discuss Zimbabwe crisis

South African President Thabo Mbeki is expected to hold talks in Zimbabwe on his way to the Commonwealth meeting in the Uganda capital, Kampala.

President Thabo MbekiMr Mbeki's visit to Harare is aimed at helping the dialogue between President Robert Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party and the opposition.

All those involved are keeping their cards close to their chests, divulging very little about how things are going.

Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has also gone to Kampala.

Mr Mbeki has a mandate from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to ensure that future commitments from both sides are honoured.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai at CHOGM 07

The MDC is lobbying Commonwealth leaders

Mr Tsvangirai, who heads the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) says there has been notable progress.

He said he was confident that the agenda set through the South Africa-led mediation would address the fundamental concerns around elections due next year.

Zimbabwe withdrew from the Commonwealth in 2003 after it was suspended because of allegations of poll rigging.

But Mr Tsvangirai told reporters in Kampala it was important for the body to continue engaging to ensure Zimbabwe is rescued from its political and economic crisis.

BBC NEWS | Africa | Mbeki to discuss Zimbabwe crisis