Some Zimbabwe residents living in rural areas are reportedly voicing their strong opposition to a government of national unity with President Robert Mugabe leading that government. This comes after they received information that Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai said he is satisfied with the current negotiations in South Africa's capital, Pretoria. The residents say there is need for a transitional government to organize and ensure a free and fair vote in a couple of years after its formation.
South African President Thabo Mbeki is mediating negotiations between the opposition MDC and the ruling ZANU-PF party aimed at resolving Zimbabwe's economic and political crisis. Busani Ncube is the logistics director for the Bulawayo project, a non-governmental organization. From Zimbabwe's commercial capital, Bulawayo, he tells reporter Peter Clottey that some Zimbabweans are cautiously optimistic about the ongoing peace talks.
"It is very refreshing for Zimbabweans to hear the negotiators saying the process is going on very well, especially, when it comes from the opposition, and it comes from Morgan Tsvangirai himself. It is good to hear that, but again it is too early for ordinary Zimbabweans to celebrate because as you know, that there is a media blackout and we don't know exactly what they are discussing. And if they are saying they are proceeding very well, we don't know what is well. But with Tsvangirai we would have to hope that they mean well for the people of Zimbabwe," Ncube noted.
He concurs that calls by the leader of opposition for President Mugabe to step aside in a recent interview is in good taste.
"I don't think that if Tsvangirai is saying the talks are going very well and they mean that Mugabe will remain the helm of government, Mugabe remains the state president. I don't think I will describe that as well because as long as you have Mugabe in the leadership, in whatever position, but still the head, there is no well in the talks because I don't think that is what the Zimbabweans want," he said.
Ncube said Zimbabweans want to do away with old ways of running the country and bring in fresh hands to deal with the current crisis.
"Zimbabweans want a new set of leadership, even if it is transitional. I don't think they now need a name called Mugabe," Ncube pointed out.
He welcomes the opposition's rejection of a proposal by the ruling party in the peace negotiations for the creation of several vice presidential positions.
"That is a very good move by the opposition. When the talks started, we said we were very skeptical about Mugabe's intentions. We believed that he was only asking the opposition and the opposition asking ZANU-PF to come up with its lists of demands, and the proposal that came from ZANU-PF shows that Mugabe's intention was to swallow the opposition. And surely we cannot be creating vice presidents anytime there is a crisis. And when there are negotiations, we solve that by creating vice presidents," he said.
Ncube said there was need to have one vice president in Zimbabwe's government.
"In fact we need only one vice president in the country, not the three vice presidents to appease the people. We would end up with having about 10 vice presidents, and this is not what Zimbabweans want. Zimbabweans do not want Mugabe to lead the government," Ncube noted.