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Yet Another  Round Of Zimbabwe Power-Sharing Talks Seen This Week

The drawn out power-sharing talks between Zimbabwe's majority Movement for Democratic Change and formerly ruling ZANU-PF were set to pick up again this week though sources said Monday that the gap between ZANU-PF and the two MDC groupings has widened.

Sources in Harare and Pretoria said mediator and South African President Thabo Mbeki was expected to travel Thursday to Harare for yet another effort to bridge differences.

They said he will consult with President Robert Mugabe and MDC leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara.

Mbeki spokesman Mukone Ratshitanga confirmed talks would resume but declined to provide details. South African Foreign Affairs Ministry Spokesman Ronnie Mamoepa said he had no knowledge of the visit and referred all questions to Ratshitanga.

Talks snagged again this past weekend on the question of how executive powers should be shared by Mr. Mugabe and Tsvangirai. The opposition leader is urging Mr. Mbeki to refer the matter to the United Nations and the African Union for arbitration.

International relations scholar David Monyae told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that only Mr. Mbeki is in a position to resolve the crisis, and that referring the matter to the U.N. and the A.U. would merely prolong the process.

But Acting Campaigns Director Briggs Bomba of Africa Action said the MDC must mobilize internally because there are limits to what SADC can be expected to achieve.

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