[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Zim deal nearly done?
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Wed Sep 10 05:02:43 BST 2008
Progress in Zim power-talks
09/09/2008 22:48 - (SA)
Harare - Zimbabwe's president and opposition leader said on Tuesday
there had been progress in power-sharing talks and outstanding issues
should be dealt with on Wednesday.
A new round of talks began in Harare on Monday between President Robert
Mugabe's Zanu-PF and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai's MDC party,
seeking a deal to end a post-election crisis that is worsening
Zimbabwe's economic decline.
Prospects for a power-sharing deal had looked remote, with a senior
Zanu-PF official accusing the MDC on Tuesday of "trying to put spanners
in the works".
Tsvangirai said on Sunday he would rather quit talks than sign a bad
deal and challenged Mugabe to hold a new election.
But late on Tuesday, both sides made more positive noises.
"As you are aware these talks have been dragging on for some time now,
but I must say that there is a positive development," Tsvangirai told
reporters as he left the Harare hotel after hours of negotiation,
without giving more details.
"Nothing has been concluded yet but we are hoping that tomorrow
(Wednesday) we will be able to look at the outstanding issues."
'One or two areas outstanding'
Mugabe also told reporters the talks would continue.
"We are still going to talk. We are finishing tomorrow (Wednesday)," he
"There is progress, and lack of it, in some areas," he said, adding that
"one or two areas" were still outstanding.
South African President Thabo Mbeki, who arrived in Harare on Monday for
his latest attempt to mediate a deal, has presented a proposal sharing
executive powers, the main sticking point in the negotiations, the
state-run Herald newspaper said.
It also looks at structuring an all-inclusive government.
But two months of meetings in South Africa and Harare have so far failed
to ease divisions over how to share power and Mugabe has threatened to
form a cabinet without Tsvangirai.
Further complicating the negotiations is a third faction - a breakaway
group from the MDC.
It had been seen as moving closer to Mugabe, but the faction, led by
Arthur Mutambara, said on Monday it would not sign a unilateral deal
with Mugabe if there was no agreement with Tsvangirai's faction too.
On Tuesday evening, Mutambara told reporters there had been "tremendous
progress" and said he hoped for a deal on Wednesday.
"There are a few remaining issues to be resolved, important issues to be
resolved and we hope tomorrow (Wednesday), we will be able to bring
finality and closure to the dialogue process."
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