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Zimbabwe Talks Again Falter as Expected Round of Intra-Governmental Talks Is Canceled

  • Ntungamili Nkomo
  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Some in the Tsvangirai MDC consider the negotiations a waste of time, while others say cutting off talks with would be a mistake as such a move could lead to the collapse of the inclusive government

An expected round of negotiations between Zimbabwe's unity government parties was canceled on Monday because Industry Minister Welshman Ncube, chief negotiator for the Movement for Democratic Change formation of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, failed to attend.

Sources said the talks were called off at the last minute after Ncube failed to turn up for the negotiations. The sources told VOA that the MDC formation of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai was divided over its continued participation in the protracted discussions with President Robert Mugabe's long-ruling ZANU-PF.

Some in the Tsvangirai MDC consider the negotiations a waste of time, while others say cutting off talks with would be a mistake as such a move could lead to the collapse of the inclusive government, heating up the political environment and reawakening the political violence of 2008.

Bulawayo-based political analyst Qhubani Moyo said all the three governing partners must negotiate in good faith and be patient in the process if they are to achieve resolution of the so-called outstanding issues troubling the one-year-old power-sharing arrangement, intended to transition from the 2008 crisis.

"Negotiations by their nature require people with a high level of patience because things don't just happen overnight. it's a protracted, taxing process that takes a very long time," Moyo told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo.

Since its inception in February 2009, the unity government has weathered one crisis after another as the Tsvangirai MDC has accused ZANU-PF of failing to live up to various provisions of the 2008 Global Political Agreement.

ZANU-PF party in recent months has demanded removal of sanctions imposed by the West as a precondition for further concessions in the talks.

Sydney Chisi, a spokesman for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that it's clear the talks have deadlocked, but some of those involved, particularly on the ZANU-PF side, refuse to admit it.

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