Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Tsvangirai says new talks unlikely soon

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has said power-sharing negotiations have broken down and are unlikely to resume soon, South Africa’s Talk Radio 702 reported on Wednesday.

The talks have stalled over how executive power should be shared by President Robert Mugabe and Tsvangirai, who refused to sign an agreement that would have made him prime minister.

Tsvangirai has protested against a proposed deal, saying it did not give him enough executive powers in government.

The sMovement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader said he refused to sign a deal with Mugabe because the proposal would have given the veteran leader control of security force.

”There was an attempt to fragment the Cabinet. With some ministries reporting to the president and some ministries reporting to the prime minister,” he told Talk Radio 702.

”In this case the economic and social ministries will go to the prime minister. The security ministries will go to the president.”

Talk Radio 702 quoted Tsvangirai as saying he ”was not aware of plans” for the talks to resume soon.

Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in a March 29 election but fell short of enough votes to avoid a run-off vote, which was won by Mugabe unopposed after Tsvangirai pulled out citing violence and intimidation against his supporters.

The deadlock has worsened a catastrophic economic decline marked by the world’s highest inflation rate of over 11-million percent, and chronic food, fuel and foreign currency shortages that have driven millions of Zimbabweans to regional countries.

Mugabe, in power since independence from Britain in 1980, is expected to announce a Cabinet soon, a move the MDC has warned would endanger efforts to form a national unity government.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, mandated by regional countries to mediate in the Zimbabwe talks, has drawn fire for not taking a tough line with Mugabe, a policy he says would only exacerbate tensions.

Tsvangirai was critical of Mbeki.

”The mediator says there is sufficient grounds for us to sign. He is not the one who is going to sign. It’s me. – Reuters

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories


If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here


Subscribers only

The Democratic Alliance and illiberal liberalism’s glass ceiling

The DA appears to have abandoned its ambitions of 2016 and is set to lose further ground in the upcoming elections

Canna-business deal for Ingonyama Trust land

Foreign investment has been lined up for a joint venture with the Ingonyama Trust Board, which administers tribal land for the Zulu monarch

More top stories

The Democratic Alliance and illiberal liberalism’s glass ceiling

The DA appears to have abandoned its ambitions of 2016 and is set to lose further ground in the upcoming elections

ANC Durban election candidate shot dead while on door-to-door campaign

One other man was shot dead and two others were rushed to hospital with gunshot wounds

Rule of law drops globally, including in South Africa

Security and corruption prevents the country from ranking higher on the World Justice Project Rule of Law Index for 2021

Slice of life: ‘I can read nine or 10 books...

David van der Westhuizen, a street bookseller based at the KwaZulu-Natal Society of the Arts Gallery in Durban, tells Paddy Harper how he survives unemployment

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…