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Zimbabwe Unity Principals Say Determined to Clear Slate of Outstanding Issues

  • Jonga Kandemiiri
  • Ntungamili Nkomo

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said they were determined to clear the slate of contentious issues, asking Zimbabweans to be patient

The three main figures in Zimbabwe's power-sharing government met again on Wednesday in Harare and later spoke to reporters about progress made in resolving so-called outstanding issues troubling their cooperation.

President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said they were determined to clear the slate of contentious issues but asked Zimbabweans to be patient.

The partners in the power-sharing government have been embroiled in disputes over the precise terms of their cooperative venture since the government came into being in February, and was in open crisis in October-November until the Southern African Development Community stepped in to mediate.

Since then negotiators for Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change have been working to resolve such issues under pressure from South African President Jacob Zuma, mediator in the Zimbabwean situation on behalf of the regional organization.

President Mugabe said he had signed off on some ambassadorial appointments that were agreed with his partners. Mr. Mugabe noted economic improvement which he said proves that the "inclusive" government is working.

Tsvangirai spokesman James Maridadi told VOA Studio 7 reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the leaders reflected on 2009 and looked ahead to 2010.

Commenting, Bulawayo-based political analyst Mandlenkosi Gatsheni told VOA Studio 7 reporter Ntungamili Nkomo that Zimbabweans expected the principals to provide a full briefing on the remaining points of disagreement.

Elsewhere, Finance Minister Tendai Biti unveiled a new blueprint for economic recovery to replace the Short-Term Emergency Recovery Program launched in March of this year. Biti said the three-year macro-economic framework will go a long way to consolidating economic gains to this point. But he said the country will need US$46 billion to fully restore the economy.

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