[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Zim elite deal yo-yo
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Thu Sep 11 04:45:50 BST 2008
So far so good - Mugabe
10/09/2008 22:16 - (SA)
Harare - The second day of negotiations on power-sharing in Zimbabwe
ended on Wednesday without a deal, but President Robert Mugabe said
participants will "hopefully" reach an accord on Thursday.
"So far so good," Mugabe told journalists as he emerged from the
closed-door meeting at a hotel in the Zimbabwean capital Harare.
"Tomorrow, we will hopefully sign [a deal],", he added.
Negotiators for Mugabe and opposition rival Morgan Tsvangirai resumed
power-sharing talks earlier on Wednesday amid optimism for a deal to end
Zimbabwe's political crisis.
The talks were held with Mugabe, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)
leader Morgan Tsvangirai and opposition faction leader Arthur Mutambara
Reuters has meanwhile quoted Tsvangirai as saying he'd been told by
South African President Thabo Mbeki that "very little work" was needed
for a power-sharing deal.
Zim talks optimism fading
10/09/2008 20:27 - (SA)
Harare - The optimism of making a breakthrough in talks to form a unity
government to end Zimbabwe's political crisis faded Wednesday, diplomats
President Robert Mugabe and the main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai
were relatively upbeat when they emerged late Tuesday from negotiations
mediated by South African President Thabo Mbeki. They resumed their
talks on Wednesday morning.
In the late afternoon, diplomats close to the talks said little progress
was being made and a deal was unlikely on Wednesday. The diplomats
refused to be identified, citing the media blackout Mbeki had imposed.
The key stumbling bloc remains how much power Mugabe and Tsvangirai
Tsvangirai has insisted on being head of government and chairing Cabinet
meetings, with Mugabe in the largely ceremonial position of head of
state. But Mugabe is unwilling to surrender much of the power he has
wielded since independence from Britain in 1980.
"We are still going to talk. There is progress and lack of it. There are
principally one or two areas that need to be finalised," Mugabe was
quoted as saying by the Herald as he left a Harare hotel late Tuesday
after four hours of negotiations.
Tsvangirai said on Tuesday: "There's been a positive development."
The Herald said Mugabe had told Tsvangirai that he would go ahead and
form a new government by the end of the week regardless of the outcome
in the talks.
A political settlement will free leaders to address an economic crisis
defined by the world's highest inflation rate and chronic food and fuel
shortages. Foreign investors have been wary because of the political
Western governments are poised to help with grants and loans, but they
will not deal with Mugabe.
That has left Mugabe's economic advisers scrambling. On Wednesday, the
central bank announced 1 000 retailers, 200 wholesalers and fuel
distributors would be able to accept foreign currency as an experiment
for at least 18 days.
As the talks continued on Wednesday, opposition spokesperson Nelson
Chamisa reported the granting of bail for six members of the party who
were arrested as they went to be sworn in as lawmakers last month. Four
were released from jail, but two remained held after prosecutors
appealed the bail decision.
'One or two' sticking points in Zim deal
HARARE, ZIMBABWE Sep 10 2008 07:18
Zimbabwe political rivals meeting in Harare could sign a power-sharing
deal on Wednesday, veteran President Robert Mugabe said late on Tuesday
"We are finishing tomorrow, hopefully. We are still going to talk, there
are one or two areas of disagreement," Mugabe said as he left the venue
for the talks.
A government source had earlier said that there was "room for optimism
that this deal would be signed tomorrow and that President Robert Mugabe
will form a government anytime from tomorrow or this week".
Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai has faced
heavy pressure to sign a deal throughout different stages of talks, and
earlier in the day, all three rival parties signalled that no deal was
However, Tsvangirai later acknowledged that there had been some positive
development in the negotiations as he left the talks venue.
"This is work in progress and we are hoping that tomorrow we will be
able to work on the outstanding issues," said Tsvangirai, whose party
holds the largest number of seats in Parliament after defeating Mugabe
in a March vote.
Earlier on Tuesday, a source close to the talks told Agence
France-Presse that Tsvangirai had held separate "positive" talks in the
morning with Mbeki who flew to Harare on Monday to revive the talks.
His counterpart from the breakaway MDC faction Arthur Mutambara, also
expressed optimism that a deal is in sight.
"We have made tremendous progress, there are few remaining issues to be
resolved and hopefully tomorrow we will bring finality and closure to
this important process of dialogue," said Mutambara.
The stalled power-sharing talks involving the ruling Zanu-PF,
Tsvangirai's MDC and Mutambara's splinter faction resumed on Monday
after being adjourned for more than two weeks.
Facilitated by South African President Thabo Mbeki, the talks had been
deadlocked on the allocation of executive power between Mugabe and
"It is possible that the SADC troika meeting which is taking place in
Swaziland on Wednesday might end up happening here, just to give fanfare
to the signing of the agreement," the government source said.
Swaziland King Mswati III is due to chair the Southern African
Development Community (SADC) gathering outside the capital Mbabane,
where Mbeki was planning to brief regional leaders on the progress of
Mugabe has been president of Zimbabwe since independence from Britain in
1980, but agreed to talks after winning a June 27 run-off vote unopposed
amid condemnation from the international community.
While the political crisis has dragged on, Zimbabwe's economy has
continued its freefall with the world's highest inflation rate --
11,2-million percent in June, according to official figures -- and major
Mbeki had been criticised for embarking on silent diplomacy throughout
the process, but a deal could also allow Mbeki, due to leave office next
year, an opportunity to bask in the glory of ending the longstanding
Zimbabwean political mess.
Power-sharing discussions began after the bitter political foes signed a
memorandum of understanding on July 21 in Harare. - AFP
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