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Zimbabwe's MDC Questions Communique Issued After Failed Summit

  • Thomas Chiripasi

Following the failure this week by Southern African leaders to break an impasse in the Zimbabwean power-sharing process, the Movement for Democratic Change formation of prime minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai took issue Tuesday with the communiqué the SADC security organ released Tuesday on Monday's fruitless discussions.

Secretary General Tendai Biti of the Tsvangirai MDC formation challenged the version of the talks offered by the SADC troika or committee on politics, security and defense. He said that contrary to the communiqué, more portfolios than the Home Affairs Ministry were in contention by the MDC and President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party.

Biti also accused ZANU-PF of acting in bad faith in the power-sharing process, saying the accord signed Sept. 15 was modified after agreement was reached on Sept. 11.

Correspondent Thomas Chiripasi of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe reported from Harare that Biti told a news conference that 10 cabinet positions remain in play.

Though the SADC leaders didn’t to break the MDC-ZANU-PF deadlock, they did resolve that the original version of the power-sharing agreement drafted Sept. 11 should be the reference document going forward, sources said. The MDC charged that the government made unapproved changes to the accord as it was being set up for printing.

SADC Executive Secretary Tomaz Salamao told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the two versions of the agreement in fact did not comport.

MDC formation leader Arthur Mutambara said that if ZANU-PF does not concede Home Affairs to the Tsvangirai formation, the portfolio must be rotated, noting that delays implementing the power-sharing compact are worsening the humanitarian crisis.

Political analyst Hermann Hanekom said from Cape Town, South Africa, that the only way to break the impasse now is for SADC to read Mr. Mugabe the riot act.

More reports from VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe...