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30.11.2010 Zimbabwe

Zuma In Zimbabwe For Mediation

By BBC - Daily Graphic
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South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma, says he has helped to smooth tensions between Zimbabwe's rival leaders, during a visit to Harare last Friday.

Mr Zuma said the row between President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai had been resolved, after four hours of discussions.

But analysts warn that these talks may not bring about any immediate results. The dispute is the latest sign of worsening relations between the long-time rivals.

'They've agreed that there was a breakdown of communication amongst them, and we have resolved that, and so they have agreed to continue meeting,' President Zuma said.

Mr Zuma, Mr Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai appeared relaxed at a news conference afterwards, smiling and shaking hands.

The South African leader arrived a day after Mr Tsvangirai took Mr Mugabe to court over the appointment of regional governors.

Mr Tsvangirai says he should have been consulted over the appointments under the power-sharing deal which saw him become prime minister. Mr Mugabe's allies have dismissed the claims.

'In my humble view, submission and plea, all of this is plain, clear and simple. Wherever the Constitution obliges the President to act in consultation with me as Prime Minister, he must first secure my agreement,' Mr Tsvangirai said in court papers, reports the AFP news agency.

The BBC'correspondent in Harare says both leaders have been increasingly critical and outspoken about the failures of the power-sharing agreement - with both calling for an early election.

Last month, Mr Mugabe said that the coalition deal should not be renewed when it expires in February.


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