Former South African
President Thabo Mbeki is expected in Zimbabwe's capital Harare today (Monday)
to mediate and resolve the political impasse between the government and the
opposition over ministerial posts. The
negotiations are aimed at forming a unity government to resolve the country's
economic and political crisis. But the main opposition Movement for Democratic
Change (MDC) threatened yesterday (Sunday) to pull out of the ongoing
negotiations with the ruling ZANU-PF party after President Robert Mugabe
awarded top cabinet posts to his party.
allocated to his party the ministries of defense and home affairs (in charge of
police as well as finance), which are crucial for the resuscitation of the
devastated economy. Zimbabwe political analyst George Mkwananzi tells reporter
Peter Clottey from South Africa's capital, Pretoria that Zimbabweans are
outraged over the impasse after hoping that the power-sharing agreement would
end the economic meltdown.
"The fact that
this time around Thabo Mbeki has been requested to come back to further
supervise and facilitate the discussion in Zimbabwe means that there has been a
loss in the previous attempts to put these two parties together to negotiate,
which were left unconcluded.And as a result of that, there have not been
efforts to put the whole issue to use. So what it means now is that he (Mbeki)
has to listen to both sides and attempt to bring both sides together and ensure
that this time around, they would be able to put this issue permanently to a
conclusion," Mkwananzi pointed out.
He said some
Zimbabweans are expressing frustration after President Mugabe allegedly awarded
top cabinet positions to his ruling ZANU-PF party, leading to this latest
is really a cause for concern for the MDC, especially if Mugabe has been
exhibiting this level of arrogance whereby he has appropriated all the
significant ministerial positions to his party, and has reserved some what I
would call chaff ministerial posts for MDC. It would be appreciable for the MDC
to withdraw so that the ZANU-PF people can see that they cannot always have it
their own way," he said.
the main opposition MDC made a mistake by signing an agreement with President
Mugabe before negotiations about ministerial positions among others was signed.
latest developments show that there were weaknesses in the initial agreement
that they have to sign it without a proper clarification as to what was going
to MDC and what was going to ZANU-PF. It amounts to chicanery and MDC appears
to like a party that has been cheated on in these negotiations because they
have gone as far as appendaging their signature, only to discover that they had
not received what they had hoped from the talks," Mkwananzi noted.
He said the
ruling party is making life difficult for the opposition in the ongoing political
"ZANU-PF is now
arm-twisting the MDC to accept something which is lopsided and which is to the
advantage of ZANU-PF," he said.
cautioned that President Mugabe's leaving the MDC out of significant cabinet
positions contravenes the recently signed agreement with the opposition aimed
at resolving the economic and political crisis.
"It must be remembered that the
mandate that Robert Mugabe gets as a president comes only after the signing of
the agreement. So he is not president, and he is not recognized until and
unless he equitably distributes these ministerial positions. So when he
attempts to be president before the distribution of these positions, then it
cannot be acceptable. It can be taken as illegitimate and illegal," Mkwananzi