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Zimbabwe Co-Governing Party Deplores "Brazen...Unilateralism" by President Mugabe

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change formation on Friday issued a statement expressing concern at the lack of progress in talks among the three principals in the country's unity government on issues jeopardizing cooperation.

The statement said three rounds of talks among President Robert Mugabe, Mr. Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara had failed to achieve any agreement.

In a thinly veiled criticism of Mr. Mugabe, the MDC warned that “brazen acts of unilateralism [and] unbridled stubbornness” endangered the survival of the all-inclusive government.

Issues on the table include ongoing invasions of white commercial farms, Mr. Mugabe's recent unilateral rearrangement of ministerial duties, and appointments to top government posts including the governorship of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe.

"Failure to resolve the outstanding issues means that the (Global Political Agreement) and the inclusive government have not been fully consummated," the statement said. "It means we have a hung and handicapped government without consensus on its bureaucracy because of the dispute over (ministerial) permanent secretaries" and Mr. Mugabe's refusal to swear in Roy Bennett, who Tsvangirai has named deputy minister of agriculture.

"We believe as a party that brazen acts of unilateralism, unbridled stubbornness, politically motivated chaos on the farms and the failure to take decisive action on the outstanding issues pose a real threat to the life and health of the inclusive government," it said.

The statement expressed the hope that when the three principles meet again Monday "the above issues will be brought to finality and the inclusive government would start to move in one direction for the good of the country."

Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporter Blessing Zulu of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the failure to resolve such issues, many of which have been outstanding since before the government's February launch, have hindered its full functioning.

VOA was unable to obtain a response to the statement from Mr. Mugabe's office.

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