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Recriminations Traded As Zimbabwe Power-Sharing Process Loses Momentum

Hastily arranged discussions Wednesday in Harare between ZANU-PF and the two formations of the Movement for Democratic Change aimed at overcoming the impasse on appointments to Zimbabwe's next cabinet failed to yield a breakthrough.

MDC founder and prime minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai had convened a news conference Wednesday afternoon at his home in a Harare suburb but it was called off at the last minute, a party spokesman explaining that a round of talks had been set.

Reuters news agency meanwhile quoted caretaker Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, lead negotiator for ZANU-PF, which is headed by President Robert Mugabe, as saying the MDC was to blame for the deadlock because it was trying to negotiate through the media.

Chinamasa reiterated his position that that intervention by former South African president Thabo Mbeki, who mediated the process leading to the Sept. 15 power-sharing compact calling for a national unity government, was not required at this juncture.

But Tsvangirai's MDC formation has said that Mbeki must get involved again to revive the power-sharing process, which is widely perceived to be faltering.

Spokesman Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai MDC formation told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the deadlock over ministries is becoming entrenched.

Political analyst Glen Mpani said in an interview from Cape Town, South Africa, that President Mugabe has met resistance to power-sharing from ZANU-PF hardliners.

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