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Zimbabwe Power Sharing Hits Another Snag As Regional Meeting Fails

Zimbabwe's troubled power-sharing process was further set on Monday as consultations called by Southern African Development Community in Swaziland failed to take place because prime minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai was unable to travel to the summit using documents provided by Harare, which has failed to give him the passport he has requested.

Secretary General Tendai Biti of the Movement for Democratic Change formation headed by Tsvangirai described as "insulting" the the failure by President Robert Mugabe's government to give Tsvangirai a passport. He said the MDC formation declined take part in the Swaziland meeting of the SADC committee on politics, saying a full SADC summit is needed.

In an interview, Tsvangirai spokesman George Sibotshiwe reviewed the circumstances which prevented Tsvangirai from traveling to Mbabane, Swaziland, on Sunday, and explained the stance now taken by the MDC formation of the prime minister-in-waiting.

At one point the SADC officials in Mbabane discussed the possibility of sending a plane to Harare to bring Tsvangirai to Swaziland, but no craft was dispatched.

The stalemate in the power-sharing process against the backdrop of deepening economic and social distress in Zimbabwe will lead to more demonstrations by civil society groups, warned Director Ernest Mudzengi of the National Constitutional Assembly.

Mudzengi told reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the government's failure to provide Tsvangirai with a passport was "contemptuous."

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