Zimbabwe talks back on track

Angus Shaw

Angus Shaw

HARARE - Zimbabwe's political factions were back in talks, both sides said yesterday, but so far can't agree on how far they've progressed, a measure of the difficulty of turning pledges of cooperation into action.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his main rivals signed a power-sharing agreement last month brokered by former president Thabo Mbeki.

Since then, though, they have made no progress on deciding who will hold which posts in their cabinet.

Though Mbeki has agreed to resume mediating the two sides met without him on Saturday.

Mugabe's spokesman, George Charamba, said Saturday's talks between Mugabe, Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democratic Change and Arthur Mutambara, leader of a smaller opposition group, stalled because of the failure to allocate control of just two ministries.

But Nelson Chamisa, spokesman for Tsvangirai, said disputes remained over all 31 state ministries.

"To say that two ministries are holding things up is absolutely incorrect," he said.

Talks on the sharing of ministries have stalled twice over which party receives control of key ministries such as defence.- Sapa-AP.