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Zimbabwean Leaders Fail to Agree on Cabinet


Two weeks after the signing of a power-sharing agreement, Zimbabwe leaders Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai have again failed to agree on the allocation of some key ministries. From Harare, Tendai Maphosa has more for VOA.

On his return from the U.N. General Assembly meeting in New York City, Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe said a government would be in place by the end of the week. But after meeting Tuesday with prime minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai, an agreement could still not be reached.

The Movement for Democratic Change Policy Coordinator General Eddie Cross told VOA that both leaders had not altered their positions from the last time they met, before Mr. Mugabe's departure for New York.

"Mugabe is demanding all the senior positions in Cabinet. Obviously we are not going to accept that not even for five minutes so the impasse continues," he said.

Cross says the portfolios in question are Home Affairs, Finance, Foreign Affairs and Local government.

After last month's meeting the leaders had agreed to have their negotiating parties try to reach a compromise. Those negotiations never happened since mediator Thabo Mbeki was dismissed as South Africa's president before he could meet with the negotiating parties.

Cross says there is no meeting scheduled at the moment, but the matter is being dealt with by the Southern African Development Community.

"The mediation thing is in limbo at the moment, although Mr. Zuma and the new president of South African both intimated that they want Thabo Mbeki to continue with the mediation and to finish what he started," added Cross. "The South African president's office is referring all enquiries to the SADC in Gaborone and SADC is trying to sort it out."

Meanwhile the cash shortage crisis in Zimbabwe is getting worse, despite the increase of the daily bank withdrawal limit. Long lines can be seen outside banks hours before they open and into early evening after the banks close as they try to serve all those who joined the queue before closing time.

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