Zimbabweans are reportedly expressing disappointment after
the leader of main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Morgan
Tsvangirai walked out of the ongoing peace negotiations with the ruling ZANU-PF
party last night. Tsvangirai reportedly refused to sign an agreement that aims
to resolve the ongoing political and economic crisis. Tsvangirai's action
follows the refusal of President Robert Mugabe's ruling ZANU-PF party to make
Tsvangirai the head of government as part of a proposed unity government.
observes believe this latest development is a serious setback to plans by South
Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, who is the mediator of the talks, to present a
progress report this week to the Southern African Development Community (SADC).
Masamvu is a Zimbabwean with the International Crisis Group. He tells reporter
Peter Clottey from the capital, Harare that President Mbeki should find a
common ground to surmount the sticking point of the talks.
Tsvangirai has walked out of a meeting in the capital, Harare and has refused
to sign for the simple reason that President Robert Mugabe has refused to
concede that he (Tsvangirai) becomes the head of government. I think in his
report, which Mbeki is supposed to present, should actually say in the very
least that the two key players, Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe, are not in
agreement on those key issues," Masamvu pointed out.
said there is need for the mediator of the talks to find a common ground to
bring the opposing parties together.
he (Mbeki) should do is to find out a common ground of how he can move beyond
the sticking point and try to reach a compromise between Mugabe and
Tsvangirai," he said.
said international pressure should be applied to force the two parties to work
out the stumbling blocks of the current negotiations.
think without a major climb down from Mugabe that he can no longer hold the
same powers which he has, and acknowledging the power dynamic or the power
consideration that the MDC's Tsvangirai can hold nationally. What is needed is
more pressure to come to bear on Mugabe to concede some powers and allow
Tsvangirai to be the head of government. The MDC is saying if Mugabe can be the
head of state, Tsvangirai should be the head of government, and that should be
the baseline of any compromise position," Masamvu noted.
said Zimbabweans are gravely saddened by the latest development at the talks.
can tell you the nation has been enveloped this evening with an air of
disappointment that they are actually looking at the economic meltdown, looking
at the collapse all over. So Zimbabweans across the political divide have
actually vested so much hope in these talks and that it has stalled has become
a source of disappointment to Zimbabweans, who are looking for a resolution to
the crisis," he said.
said the mediator has a Herculean task of bringing back to life the stalled
Africa's President Mbeki, who has been the facilitator of the talks knows the
sticking points and he has to make an open public report to SADC leaders. And
over above that, I think he has to find a mechanism to get the two key actors
to reach a compromise. I think the current situation is very much retrievable
and is actually how the facilitator moves in terms of in terms of bearing
pressure on both actors, whichever way to try to compromise, which I think is
the best way forward," Masamvu pointed out.
said main opposition leader should play a significant role in any possible
agreement that could be reached at the talks.
"Any agreement which does not take on board
Morgan Tsvangirai's group, as far as Zimbabweans are concerned, is by and large
null and void. So the issue and the argument that (MDC faction leader Arthur)
Mutambara can sign with Mugabe does not at all allow any breakthrough in the
resolution of the Zimbabwe crisis," he said.