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Opposition: Regional summit to be held on Zimbabwe

Opposition: Regional summit to be held on Zimbabwe

A full regional summit will be held to try to resolve Zimbabwe's political impasse, an opposition spokesman said early Tuesday.
Nelson Chamisa, speaking to The Associated Press after leaders of several members of the Southern African Development Community met all day Monday and into the early hours of Tuesday, said the leaders decided all 13 members of the regional bloc should now meet. The opposition has been calling for such a summit.
An official announcement was expected later Tuesday, Chamisa said.
Monday's meeting was attended by President Robert Mugabe, opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, opposition faction leader Arthur Mutambara and leaders from South Africa, Angola, Mozambique and Swaziland. Former South African President Thabo Mbeki attended as the mediator who brokered the deal.
A power-sharing deal signed Sept. 15 has stalled over how to share government ministries among President Robert Mugabe's party, Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change and a smaller opposition group. Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe, in power since independence in 1980, of trying to hold onto too many of the most powerful posts, including the home affairs and finance ministries.
One of the key ministries in dispute is the home affairs ministry in charge of the police. Mugabe claimed control of the ministry when he unilaterally published a Cabinet list Oct. 11.
Tsvangirai has been under intense pressure from within his party not to yield control of police, blamed for some of the political violence against his supporters surrounding elections in March and June.
At weekend rallies, he accused Mugabe of negotiating in bad faith.
"There is nothing wrong with the deal, but the problem is Mugabe wants to grab all key ministries. I will not go in if I am not given the tools to perform," Tsvangirai told supporters Saturday.
An agreement on the government makeup in Zimbabwe would allow politicians to turn their attention to the nation's economic meltdown, which has led to chronic shortages of food, gasoline and most basic goods; daily outages of power and water; and the collapse of health and education services.
Zimbabweans are struggling with the world's highest official inflation rate of 231 million percent. The U.N. predicts half the population will need food aid by 2009.
A doctors group on Sunday reported at least 120 preventable deaths across the county this year from cholera. At least 27 people have died in the past month.


Updated : 2021-01-18 06:37 GMT+08:00