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Zimbabwe Opposition Leader Blames Lack of Trust for Breakdown of Power-Sharing Deal


Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says a lack of trust between him and President Robert Mugabe has led to the deadlock in power-sharing talks between the two sides.

Tsvangirai told a crowd of supporters Saturday in Bulawayo that there was nothing wrong with the deal signed last month between Zimbabwe's opposition and ruling ZANU-PF parties.

He said they only ran into problems when it came to implementation of the agreement.

After the fourth day of talks failed once again Friday, Tsvangirai called on the African Union and the Southern African Development Community to help end the deadlock on forming a unity government.

President Mugabe said Friday the discussions went in the wrong direction.

The mediator of the talks, former South African President Thabo Mbeki, has said negotiations will continue Monday in Swaziland.

Last week, Mr. Mugabe unilaterally gave his ZANU-PF party several key Cabinet positions that oversee the military, police and foreign affairs. This prompted the opposition to threaten to pull out of the power-sharing agreement.

The original deal, reached in September, was meant to end the crisis stemming from Zimbabwe's disputed presidential elections.

It calls for ZANU-PF to control 15 ministries, with the two factions of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change getting 16. Mr. Mugabe would remain as president, with Tsvangirai becoming prime minister.

The sides are under pressure to reach a final deal so Zimbabwe can start to recover from its deep economic crisis. The country has 80 percent unemployment and an inflation rate officially estimated at 231 million percent.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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