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Zimbabwean Opposition Says Power-Sharing Deal under Threat


Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change says the publication of ministerial posts in an official government newspaper threatens the country's power sharing agreement. Tendai Maphosa has more from Harare.

The Movement for Democratic Change describes the announcement of a Cabinet list by the state controlled newspaper The Herald as a midnight ambush. In a stinging statement, the MDC further says the announcement jeopardizes the power-sharing deal signed with President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party on September 15.

The Herald announcement comes after the parties had acknowledged failure on reaching agreement on the allocation of Cabinet posts. They had agreed to refer the matter to former South African president Thabo Mbeki who brokered the power-sharing deal. The agreement says the president will allocate ministerial portfolios after consultation with the vice presidents, the prime minister and deputy prime ministers.

The MDC statement says no agreement was reached on the heavily contested portfolios of Finance, Home Affairs, Local Government and Foreign Affairs when the leaders of the parties to the agreement met on Friday. The Herald list gives three of the posts to ZANU-PF adding that only Finance is disputed. The MDC insists it will reject what it calls attempts BY ZANU-PF to merely get it into office but without power.

Constitutional expert Lovemore Madhuku tells VOA that while the announcement by the government may not be in the spirit of the power sharing agreement, it does not breach the letter of the deal.

Under the agreement, ZANU-PF is to get 15 posts of the 31-member Cabinet while the main MDC party led by Morgan Tsvangirai gets 13. The remaining three go to a smaller faction of the MDC.

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