Only two out of three of the principals in Zimbabwe's fractious unity government attended a meeting Monday of senior partners in power-sharing, obliging postponement of a pivotal discussion of issue remaining on the table six months into the arrangement.
In the absence of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara, President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai took up other business, government sources said.
For many weeks Mr. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change has been pressing for the resolution of outstanding issues including the leadership of the Reserve Bank and the Office of the Attorney General, and the prosecution of lawmakers of Mr. Tsvangirai’s MDC formation by which, it says, Mr. Mugabe's ZANU-PF aims to erode the MDC house majority.
Late last week ZANU-PF countered by charging that the MDC formations had failed to obtain an end to Western targeted sanctions against President Mugabe and other top officials or supporters of the previous ZANU-PF government.
The former ruling party also demanded an end to broadcasts from abroad by so-called pirate radio stations, as VOA's Studio 7 has often been characterized by ZANU-PF officials.
James Maridadi, spokesman for the prime minister, told Studio 7 that Mr. Tsvangirai and the president reviewed the government's 100-day recovery plan and other topics.
Pretoria-based political analyst George Mkhwanazi told reporter Ntungamili Nkomo of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that the ZANU-PF demands that the MDC should order the United States, Britain and other countries to lift their sanctions are preposterous.
Meanwhile, Studio 7 correspondent Irwin Chifera reported from Harare that House Speaker Lovemore Moyo dismissed press reports on the weekend saying the selection of the Media Commission has been put on hold, saying there is no turning back on this reform.