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Some Zimbabwean Civic Groups See Power-Sharing As Indispensable

  • Martin Ngwenya

With Zimbabwe's month-old power-sharing pact looking frayed, civil society groups including the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe and Women of Zimbabwe Arise have urged street protests if President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF unilaterally forms a government.

The calls for demonstrations reflected the fear that if power-sharing fails, Mr. Mugabe and his long-ruling ZANU-PF may try to go it alone without the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change despite the ongoing and intensifying economic implosion.

But spokesman Raymond Motsi of the Christian Alliance, an organization of church leaders based in Bulawayo, said his group has not given up on the process.

Motsi said Mr. Mugabe's unilateral allocation of ministries on Friday, seen by some observers as a slap in the face to his Movement for Democratic Change partners, was probably just a heavy-handed negotiating tactic aimed at pressuring his MDC partners.

Participants at a two-day seminar in Gaborone held to examine power sharing in Zimbabwe said the deal must hold if the country is to recover from its political-economic meltdown.

Members of the Zimbabwean diaspora added that it is too early in the process to go home.

From Gaborone, correspondent Martin Ngwenya reported.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...