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Zimbabweans Uneasy About Cabinet Formation

Earlier this month a power-sharing agreement was signed in Zimbabwe between the ruling Zanu-PF and opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). Under the deal, a new government is to be formed with ministers from Both ZANU-PF and the MDC. However, follow–up talks to elect a power sharing cabinet have stalled.

In his assessment of the current political mood in the country, John Makumbe, professor of political science at the University of Zimbabwe, Harare told VOA’s Akwei Thompson there is a feeling of disquiet and concern among the people amidst all the wrangling between the two parties.

“I think there’s is a little bit of uneasiness. People are a bit tired of waiting and they would like the new government to be put in place as soon as possible,” Makumbe said.

Professor Makumbe said it would take some hard bargaining among the parties to “in fact agree on identifying first of all which are the key ministries and then allocate those key mninistries on pro rata basis – on the basis of what parliamentary representation each party has….”

In the meantime Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has warned that Zimbabwe is facing a humanitarian crisis in the coming months if a new power sharing government is not formed soon.

ZANU-PF, however, appears to be trying to hold on to all the key ministries and to give the MDC formation only the “peripheral, only the minor or trivial ministries,” Makumbe noted. Makumbe feared that the talks may end bein mediated again by SADC

He characterized President Mugabe’s recent appeal at the UN for the immediate removal of sanctions which have brought “untold suffering to his people, as hot air. He called for the sanctions to be tightened to “encourage Mugabe and motivate him to do the right thing.”