Friday, September 19, 2008

(TALKZIMBABWE) Principals fail to agree on cabinet configuration

Principals fail to agree on cabinet configuration
Ralph Mutema
Thu, 18 Sep 2008 15:53:00 +0000

ZIMBABWE’S principals to the all-party talks failed Thursday to agree on who will get which key ministries in a new unity government and have referred the matter back to negotiators, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party told AFP news agency.

"The meeting did not produce an agreement and the matter has been referred to the negotiators because of contestations over key ministries," AFP quoted Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for the MDC-T as saying.

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister-designate Arthur Mutambara failed to reach an agreement over which ministries each party will control.

An opposition source close to the negotiations was quoted by AFP on condition of anonymity as saying: “Zanu PF wants all the powerful ministries like finance, defence, local government and information and leave is less important ministries.”

“We are saying: 'Let's have an equal share'.”

It (the meeting) has now been “postponed indefinitely” – according to a ruling party insider privy to the talks although he would not be drawn into whether the delay spelled trouble for the new power-sharing deal.

A senior Zanu PF source told the Zimbabwe Guardian Thursday afternoon that the meeting was postponed over “MDC greed” adding that the MDC-T leader was “demanding all the key ministries” including finance and economy, information, agriculture and home.

“This party (Zanu PF) will never give in to such greedy demands from an opposition party,” continued the insider. “We have already given in to many demands by Tsvangirai and it seems if you give him an inch he takes a yard.”

It is not clear whether this thinking is reflective of President Mugabe’s position with regards to the unity deal.

It is now unlikely that any meeting will take place any time soon as President Mugabe is leaving for New York to attend the 63rd session of the United Nations General Assembly which was formally opened yesterday.

Opposition sources said the agreement on cabinet configuration should have signed held before President Mugabe travels to New York.

President Mugabe, in an address broadcast live on Zimbabwe TV yesterday, was unequivocal about Zanu PF’s position in the unity agreement. He said, although he wanted the unity deal to work, because he had won the runoff presidential election on June 27, his party remained in “the driving seat” and “will not tolerate any nonsense from our new partners.”



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