Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change on Monday called for the Southern African Development Community to intervene to break an impasse
with the long-ruling ZANU-PF party over the allocation of ministries in a proposed
national unity government.
Observers are expressing concern that the deadlock could undo the
power-sharing compact signed September 15 by President Robert Mugabe, MDC founder and prime minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai, and rival
MDC leader Arthur Mutambara.
MDC sources dismissed state media reports saying negotiations were
continuing Monday, saying that no meetings had been scheduled.
Mr. Mugabe met
with Tsvangirai and Mutambara on Saturday for the third time since signing the
deal, but the three leaders again failed to achieve a breakthrough.
After that meeting, Mugabe spokesman George Charamba issued a statement
saying that the contentious portfolios had been narrowed down to just two. On Monday the state-controlled Herald newspaper said negotiations had been scheduled
for Monday afternoon aimed at finding a compromise on control of the Home Affairs and Finance
But spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai MDC formation said no such meetings were planned and that more than two
ministries remained the subject of discord.
Chamisa told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the parties to the power-sharing accord also have yet to agree on provincial governorships.
VOA was unable to reach ZANU-PF chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa or his fellow negotiator Nicholas Goche for comment on the talks
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who mediated the Sept. 15 accord, has said he is willing to take a role in the talks again, but ZANU-PF officials have denied that there is an impasse and said there is no need for the mediator to involve himself.
analyst Rejoice Ngwenya said the cabinet deadlock has exacerbated an already
dire humanitarian situation in the country, and that by failing to reach agreement, both parties
have failed to come to the aid of an increasingly desperate population.
More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...