Wednesday, April 09, 2008


Mr Zuma says Zimbabwe has become an international issue. South Africa's governing party leader Jacob Zuma has criticised the delay in publishing the results of presidential elections held in Zimbabwe 11 days ago.
Mr Zuma's comments are in stark contrast to those of South Africa's president who said the situation was "manageable" and a question of waiting.
Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who met Mr Zuma on Tuesday, has been travelling around the region.
He is urging leaders to help prevent Zimbabwe from descending into chaos.
He has already met the president of Botswana - and plans to go on to Zambia and Mozambique. There is also talk the Movement for Demcoratic Change (MDC) leader may meet Mr Mbeki when he returns from a trip abroad.

Mr Tsvangirai's party says its activists have been attacked in a campaign of "massive violence" around the country since the polls - although is unconfirmed by reporters.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's state television says that war veterans have occupied 11 farms in the north-east of the country, Reuters news agency reports.

'We are under siege'

The farm invasions were ignited by reports that some white farmers were returning to their former properties anticipating the opposition MDC 's victory.
"We managed to remove all the invaders from the occupied farms after realising that they were now committing crimes such as looting farm equipment, produce and threatening to kill the farm owners," police assistant commissioner Mhekia Tanyanyiwa said.
"As of now the situation is under control and the affected white farmers are safe," he said.
A BBC contributor in Masvingo says police on Tuesday fought running battles with farm invaders who had looted farm equipment and produce.
The MDC is still hoping that legal action in the High Court will lead to the immediate release of results.

Campaigning was largely peaceful during last month's elections.
Mr Zuma said the Zimbabwe Electoral Commission (ZEC) should have announced the results by now.
"I think keeping the nation in suspense, and as you know, the Zimbabwean issue has become an international issue - it is almost keeping the international community in suspense - I don't think it augurs very well," the African National Congress leader said.
Mr Zuma beat President Thabo Mbeki to the leadership of the governing ANC last year, and is favourite to become president new year.
Last weekend, Mr Mbeki, who led mediation efforts last year between President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party and MDC, said it was "time to wait".
On Monday, Mr Zuma met Zimbabwe's opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, when he visited Johannesburg for the day.
The MDC is trying to persuade Zimbabwe's neighbours to take a more public stand, and demand to know the outcome of the presidential election.
Meanwhile the state-owned Herald newspaper is reporting that Mr Tsvangirai has "begged" for the vice-presidency in a national unity government. The MDC reject this as "rubbish".
Independent and ruling party projections say Mr Tsvangirai gained most votes but not the 50% needed to win outright.
The MDC says he gained 50.3% of the vote, but Zanu-PF has demanded a recount of the vote.



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