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Prospects For Zimbabwe Unity Government In February Slim - Observers

Southern African regional leaders are pushing hard for a national unity government to be launched in Zimbabwe and President Robert Mugabe has announced he intends to do so in February, but some political sources doubt this can be accomplished on schedule.

The leadership of the Movement for Democratic Change formation headed by party founder Morgan Tsvangirai was meeting Wednesday in South Africa to discuss the situation. MDC sources said Mr. Mugabe must put an equitable power-sharing deal on the table before MDC lawmakers will a constitutional amendment to be tabled in parliament this month.

The MDC wants to see a meeting between Mr. Mugabe and Tsvangirai to resolve outstanding issues including the composition of the cabinet and other key appointments.

But sources in Pretoria say a key aid to power-sharing mediator Thabo Mbeki, Sydney Mufamadi, is organizing a meeting of negotiators “soon” to agree appointments of governors, ambassadors and permanent secretaries, leaving the naming of ministers to the principals - Mr. Mugabe, Tsvangirai and rival MDC leader Arthur Mutambara.

Political analyst Pedzisayi Ruhanya told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the MDC is within its rights to demand that the global political agreement signed by those principals on Sept. 15 be followed to the letter.

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