Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Zimbabwean official says coalition administration could be good for his country

Zimbabwean official says coalition administration could be good for his country

A coalition government _ an idea raised and dismissed by both Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's party and the opposition _ may again be under consideration to end the violence that has engulfed the country for two months.
But opposition presidential candidate Morgan Tsvangirai said Tuesday that talk of a unity government was premature and he was focused on his campaign for a runoff that is less than three weeks away.
"A government of national unity does not arise," he told reporters in the Zimbabwean capital, Harare, adding that it might be an issue after the vote on June 27.
Mugabe's Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga said in a telephone interview Tuesday that he could not confirm reports Mugabe's ZANU-PF and Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change were discussing sharing power.
Mugabe might find it difficult to claim a mandate after a vote undermined by campaign violence, possibly making a coalition more palatable. Tsvangirai has repeatedly pledged to bring moderate members of Mugabe's party into his administration, but not Mugabe. The sticking point has long appeared to be ZANU-PF's insistence that Mugabe remain president of any unity government.
Tsvangirai, 56, beat Mugabe and two other candidates during the first round of presidential voting March 29, but official results did not give him the 50 percent plus one vote necessary to avoid a runoff.
Tsvangirai expressed confidence that he would win the runoff despite the violence and intimidation his supporters have faced since the first round. Human rights groups say Mugabe engineered the violence to ensure he wins. The opposition leader says 66 of his supporters have been killed.
"Mugabe can beat us but we will vote him out," he said.
Tsvangirai blamed the violence on the military and police.
"The current reality is the army and police are calling the shots and Mugabe allows it to happen because it serves him," he said. "The country is now under a military junta."
Mugabe's ZANU-PF lost control of Parliament for the first time since independence from Britain in 1980 in parliamentary voting held alongside the first round of presidential voting. Most seats went to candidates representing two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change that have since pledged to work together.
On Tuesday, Matonga said that with Zimbabwe's Parliament now divided, a coalition "could be good for Zimbabwe" and that such arrangements have worked elsewhere in Africa and Europe.
"Whoever wins the presidential election will need the other parties to be able to govern," Matonga said. "We need each other. But it has to be a Zimbabwean initiative. As Zimbabweans, we are capable of running our own affairs. But we need friends like South Africa."
Opposition spokesman Nqobizitha Mlilo said he could not comment on reports power sharing talks were under way.
South African President Thabo Mbeki has mediated stop-and-start talks between Mugabe's and Tsvangirai's parties. Mbeki has insisted on a media blackout, and his spokesman, Mukoni Ratshitanga, said the reports of renewed talks, which first appeared Tuesday in South Africa's respected Business Day newspaper, were untrue.
But Simba Makoni, a former member of Mugabe's party who finished third in the presidential elections, said preliminary talks on sharing power are under way.
Makoni, speaking at a news conference in Johannesburg on Tuesday, said the talks could not yet be described as formal negotiations, but that he could "confirm ... that I know that there are communications between and among Zimbabwean leaders at various levels."
Makoni said he was not directly involved, but was "encouraging, facilitating and pushing that the talks do take place."
Makoni said the violence since the first round would make it impossible for the planned June 27 runoff to be free and fair, or for it to resolve Zimbabwe's political and economic crises.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai "should be sitting across a table, discussing the future of Zimbabwe," Makoni said. "We ... implore them to agree to work together."
Monday, an official in Zambia, the current chairman of the Southern African Development Community, said whatever the results of the runoff, it was unlikely they would be endorsed by both sides. Mediation then would be aimed at finding "some transitional arrangements," possibly a unity government, said Zambian Information Minister George Mulongoti.
A declaration issued at the end of a U.S.-European Union summit Tuesday in Slovenia called on the government of Zimbabwe to immediately cease the "state-sponsored violence and intimidation against its people that has occurred since the March 29 presidential and parliamentary elections and which is so hostile to the tenets of democracy and human rights."
In their statement, European and U.S. leaders said they strongly backed the efforts of African leaders to bring about a quick resolution to the crisis.
Mugabe, in power since 1980, once was hailed as an independence hero who helped his nation develop. In recent years, though, he has been accused of clinging to power through violence, fraud and intimidation and ruining the economy with land reform policies that resulted in the sometime violent seizures of farms from whites. The twin crises are seen as destabilizing not just Zimbabwe, but neighbors like South Africa and Zambia.


Updated : 2021-05-10 04:11 GMT+08:00