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Another Call for South African Intervention as Zimbabwe Unity Gov't Woes Mount

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has assured the Cabinet he will resolve the portfolios crisis with President Robert Mugabe - but sources in the Movement for Democratic Change and ZANU-PF say their talks have deadlocked

Both formations of Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change will ask South African President Jacob Zuma to intervene in the latest dispute troubling the Harare unity government – this time over president Robert Mugabe’s recent shuffle of ministerial portfolios removing powers from a number of MDC ministers, political sources said Tuesday.

The state gazette last week reallocated responsibilities and portfolios for ministries controlled by the MDC to ministries in the hands of Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF.

Those portfolios include Information Technology, Labor, Science and Technology, Parastatals and State Enterprises, Parliamentary Affairs and Regional Integration and International Cooperation, this last controlled by the MDC formation of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

The reorganization also gave Mr.Mugabe’s office communications interception and national emergency powers, and authority to administer the National Security Council Act.

Sources said President Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai deadlocked in discussions on the portfolios issue Monday, adding that Mr. Tsvangirai later told the Cabinet that the principals will discuss the issue again next week.

But sources said the dispute between Information Communications Technology Minister Nelson Chamisa of the Tsvangirai MDC formation and ZANU-PF Transport Minister Nicholas Goche has been going on for a year with no solution in sight. Those sources said it is time for South African President Jacob Zuma, mediator in Zimbabwe for the Southern African Development Community, to step in.

Political analyst Charles Mangongera told VOA that Mr Mugabe’s actions clearly indicate he is getting ready for another round of elections.

“It’s an indication ZANU-PF is already looking beyond the Global Political Agreement (for power sharing) and the government of national unity - they are already preparing for elections," Mangongera said.

President Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai have both indicated they are ready for elections in 2011.