Zim leaders meet again over unity govt’s outstanding issues

mutambara_mugabe__tsvangirai.jpg_2.jpgFrom Left: Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai
HARARE - Leaders of Zimbabwe's power-sharing government meet tomorrow aft

"They are meeting on Thursday after an inconclusive meeting on Monday," James Maridadi, spokesman of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said.

Mugabe, Tsvngirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara’s meeting will be the third inside two weeks to try to find a lasting solution to the outstanding issues and other differences that emerged after the formation of the inclusive government on February 13.

Among the outstanding issues of the power-sharing agreement are the appointment of rovincial governors, permanent secretaries and diplomats, the rehiring of Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono and the appointment of Johannes Tomana as Attorney General by Mugabe in January.

Tsvangirai and Mutambara want the appointments of Gono, Tomana and provincial governors rescinded and the recruitment of new ambassadors and permanent secretaries – moves Mugabe and hardliners from his ZANU PF party have adamantly opposed.

Mugabe last week also raised the ire of his coalition partners with a unilateral decision to transfer a major portfolio from MDC-T minister Nelson Chamisa to one of his ZANU PF hardliners, Nicholas Goche.

Another bone of contention between Mugabe on the one hand and Tsvangirai and Mutambara on the other is the refusal by the 85-year-old President to swear in MDC-T Senator Roy Bennett as deputy agriculture minister.

According to sources Mugabe’s two vice presidents, Joseph Msika and Joice Mujuru, also attended the principals’ meeting on Monday. Tsvangirai’s other deputy Thokozani Khupe attended.

Also present were Welshman Ncube, a lawyer and secretary general of Mutambara’s MDC party and Emmerson Mnangagwa, legal secretary for ZANU PF.

The two men, who participated in the South African-led negotiations that led to the signing of the power-sharing agreement, are said to have used the meeting to explain to the principals the legal interpretations of the political agreement regarding powers of President Mugabe and those of the Prime Minister.

The coalition government is seen as offering Zimbabwe the best opportunity in a decade to restore stability and end a devastating economic crisis.

But an international political think-tank said in report released on Monday that the unity overnment was at risk of being toppled by military generals unhappy that any political transition could leave them powerless and vulnerable to prosecution for past crimes.

The Brussels-based International Crisis Group blamed the deadlock over issues such as the appointment of a new Attorney General or central bank chief on the hardliners in the military and in ZANU PF it said wanted to derail the unity government.


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