Zim talks continue

HARARE - Former South African president Thabo Mbeki opened a second day of talks yesterday with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his main rival, MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai, to save a power-sharing deal that has floundered over cabinet posts.

HARARE - Former South African president Thabo Mbeki opened a second day of talks yesterday with Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and his main rival, MDC's Morgan Tsvangirai, to save a power-sharing deal that has floundered over cabinet posts.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai failed to reach an agreement after more than seven hours of talks on Tuesday centred on control of the finance, home and defence ministries in a unity government.

Tsvangirai threatened to pull out of the agreement after Mugabe last weekend announced he would award key ministries to his own party, leaving the 84-year-old leader with a firm grip on the military, police and other security agencies.

Mbeki, who brokered the deal signed one month ago, flew to Harare on Monday to try to rescue the pact that had raised hopes of an end to months of political unrest.

Both Mugabe and Tsvangirai told reporters they were hopeful the deadlock would be broken yesterday, though few details of their talks have emerged.

Under the deal, Mugabe retains the presidency while Tsvangirai takes the new post of prime minister. But disputes over how to form a cabinet threaten to sink the entire arrangement.

Before the talks began, Tsvangirai said his MDC insisted on dividing control of defence and home affairs. - Sapa-AFP

X