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Zimbabwe: Kabila engages GPA principals
Posted: Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Herald
November 03, 2009

DRC President Joseph Kabila, who is the Sadc chair, yesterday engaged the three principals to the Global Political Agreement on political developments in the country, with President Mugabe saying the regional bloc understands that Zimbabweans can solve their problems without undue external interference.

Speaking after a five-hour meeting with President Mugabe at State House, President Kabila said while he had come in fulfilment of a promise made to his Zimbabwean counterpart earlier, he would also use the opportunity to get an appreciation of the political landscape.

President Kabila will today also deliver the annual Dag Hammarskjold lecture at Africa University.

Asked on why he was in the country, President Kabila said he had promised President Mugabe to visit when the two leaders met at the last Sadc Summit in Kinshasa.

"I told him (President Mugabe) that I would be coming to Zimbabwe during the summit in Kinshasa.

"I will be meeting Prime Minister Tsvangirai either today or tomorrow before I go back to Congo," he said.

President Kabila last night met separately with PM Tsvangirai and Deputy PM Arthur Mutambara.

President Mugabe said President Kabila, as Sadc chairman, would take the opportunity to understand the situation in the country during his visit.

"President Kabila, as Sadc chairman, will listen to all sides in the inclusive Government, the marks of progress we have made and the handicaps we have encountered.

"He will, however, know that we are grown-ups and an intelligent people who know that we went into the agreement knowing that there will be handicaps to be met and we need to sit down and discuss the problems.

"He will also say there is a Sadc Troika that is seized with the matter at the moment," he said.

The three leaders who constitute the Sadc Organ on Politics, Defence and Security will likely meet in Mozambique on Thursday to review ministerial reports on the situations in Zimbabwe and Lesotho.

The Troika composed of Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland dispatched a delegation of its foreign ministers to Zimbabwe last week as part of the mutually agreed six-monthly review of the GPA.

The delegation also visited Lesotho to assess the political situation there.

Both visits were sanctioned at the DRC Sadc Summit.

PM Tsvangirai and DPM Mutambara described their separate meetings with President Kabila as "very productive".

The meeting with PM Tsvangirai lasted about an hour while DPM Mutambara talked for less than an hour with President Kabila.

"The discussion was very productive . . . I want to say he gave me assurances that Sadc is committed to see this country move forward to ensure that the train is back on rail," PM Tsvangirai said.

He said it was "common cause that the GPA must be fulfilled" and Thursday's Troika meeting should "find a solution".

DPM Mutambara said he had a "very profitable discussion" with President Kabila and challenged Zimbabweans to be masters of their own destiny.

"Zimbabweans should be ashamed of themselves. Why should we not sit down and talk?" DPM Mutambara said, adding there was no alternative to the inclusive Government.

Last week, the Troika ministerial delegation had meetings with representatives from Zanu-PF and the two MDC formations before paying courtesy calls on the three principals.

The report of those meetings will be tabled before Mozambique's President Armando Guebuza (Troika chair), Zambia's President Rupiah Banda and Swaziland's King Mswati III.

The visiting delegation underscored the need for dialogue between Zanu-PF and the MDC formations, saying Sadc was only there to assist.

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