Johannesburg, Nov 19 (IANS) South African President Jacob Zuma has said that he was cautiously optimistic about an amicable solution to the ongoing political crisis in Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwean military took control of the African country early Wednesday morning, placing President Robert Mugabe and his wife under house arrest.
“Although it is early days, we are cautiously optimistic that the situation will be resolved amicably,” Zuma posted on the South African government’s Twitter account on Saturday, Efe news reported.
He called the meetings his envoys held with Mugabe and officials from the Zimbabwean armed forces “fruitful” while reiterating his support for the people of Zimbabwe during “this difficult period”.
In his capacity as head of the Southern African Development Community (SADC), Zuma underscored his interest in maintaining “stability and peace” in the region.
“Zimbabwe is a critical member of our regional community,” Zuma said, noting South Africa’s historical, economic and cultural ties with the neighbouring country.
On the military’s intervention, the South African President reiterated that the SADC supports the rules of the African Union (AU) against the “unconstitutional changes of government in the continent, which all SADC member states should abide by”.
Regarding the position of the SADC and the AU, the Zimbabwean army has denied that it was staging a coup while it was negotiating with Mugabe, 93, to resign.
Thousands of Zimbabweans took to the streets of the capital Harare on Saturday to demand the resignation of the country’s long-ruling President, who has led the African nation since it gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1980.
Tensions came to a head last week when Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa was fired by Mugabe, in what many saw as a bid to clear the path for his wife, Grace Mugabe, to eventually take the reins of the presidency.
Post Source: Ians feed