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Leaders meet for Zimbabwe talks

 Former South African President Thabo Mbeki arrives for deadlocked power sharing talks in Harare Monday Oct. 27, 2008. Mbeki attended Monday's meeting...

ZIMBABWE POLITICS

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki arrives for deadlocked power sharing talks in Harare Monday Oct. 27, 2008. Mbeki attended Monday's meeting...

Leaders of a Southern African bloc gathered in Zimbabwe yesterday to press President Robert Mugabe and the main opposition leader to break an impasse on forming a unity government.
Mugabe's lead negotiator Patrick Chinamasa told state media that he was "cautiously optimistic" of reaching a deal with rival Morgan Tsvangirai on how to share control of powerful ministries under the unity accord.
Chinamasa told the government mouthpiece Herald newspaper that the meeting "will end the saga over the allocation of ministries to bring finality one way or another, so that the country can move forward."
The security organ of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) organized the summit in Harare after Tsvangirai boycotted talks one week ago in Swaziland, to protest delays in receiving his travel papers from Mugabe's government.
Just six weeks ago, regional leaders had come to Harare to celebrate the signing of the power-sharing deal, which calls for 84-year-old Mugabe to remain as president while Tsvangirai becomes prime minister.
The agreement had been hailed as an end to months of deadly political turmoil and a step toward piecing together Zimbabwe's shattered economy, which is saddled with the world's highest inflation rate at 231 million percent.
But Mugabe and Tsvangirai have failed to agree on which party should control the most important ministries, particularly home affairs, which oversees the police force.
South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, Mozambican President Armando Emilio Guebuza, Swaziland Prime Minister Barnabas Dlamini and Angolan foreign minister Assuncao dos Anjos hoped to pressure the two sides into an agreement yesterday to salvage the deal.
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who brokered the original agreement, said he was "very optimistic" going into the talks.


Updated : 2021-04-22 02:30 GMT+08:00