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Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai and MDC Ministers End Boycott of Unity Gov't Cabinet

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and ministers of his Movement for Democratic Change ended their three-week boycott of cabinet meetings on Wednesday by attending a cabinet session which insiders described as businesslike if somewhat tense.

Mr. Tsvangirai declared Oct. 16 that his MDC formation was disengaging from the ZANU-PF side of the government, accusing the former ruling party of violating the terms of the power-sharing agreement the two parties and another MDC wing signed in September 2008.

Sources privy to the cabinet discussions said Mr. Tsvangirai told the ministers to stay focused and pull in the same direction.

Tsvangirai spokesman James Maridadi told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that all of the cabinet ministers not away on government business were present.

A senior South African official warned meanwhile that achieving harmony in the government would not be easy. Department of International Relations Director General Ayanda Ntsaluba said diplomats should move cautiously in Zimbabwe politics because ZANU-PF and the MDC have “been at war” and the level of trust is not where it should be.

Ntsaluba urged all of the governing parties to work together to preserve power-sharing.

Human rights lawyer Dewa Mavhinga told VOA that Ntsaluba’s concerns were justified, and urged leaders in the Southern African region to keep pressure on Harare for progress.

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