Tsvangirai warns about unity talks dragging on



STRASBOURG — Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai warned yesterday that negotiations on a power-sharing government with President Robert Mugabe must not be allowed to run on indefinitely.

“It can’t be forever,” Tsvangirai said in Strasbourg, northern France,
during a rare visit to Europe. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) faction said on Friday it would join the government only
once a constitutional amendment was passed to comply with all the terms
of the power-sharing deal signed two months ago.

“Neither Robert Mugabe nor Zanu (PF) has the legitimacy of forming any
government or running this country in the absence of the consummation
of the global power-sharing agreement,” MDC deputy leader Thokozani
Khupe said after a party meeting.

Citing an alleged assassination plot against the MDC leadership and
renewed violence, the party accused the ruling party of an
“obstructionist approach, lack of paradigm shift and (an) entrenched
power retention agenda”.

Mugabe has vowed to form a new government soon, after regional leaders
proposed last weekend that the political rivals share the contentious
home affairs portfolio. The proposal was rejected by the opposition.

Under the deal signed on September 15, Mugabe would remain president
while Tsvangirai would be prime minister. But parliament must approve
an amendment to establish the office of the prime minister and define
its powers. Khupe said the MDC would not join the government until the
amendment was in place.

Former United Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan and former US
president Jimmy Carter are to visit Zimbabwe. They would travel with
rights activist Graça Machel on November 22-23 , Annan said.


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