Mugabe takes a hard line

Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe threatened in state media yesterday to break off power-sharing talks if opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai declines a deal at their next meeting.

Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe threatened in state media yesterday to break off power-sharing talks if opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai declines a deal at their next meeting.

The bitter rivals are set to meet today for talks mediated by President Kgalema Motlanthe, who hopes to salvage a unity accord that stalled almost as soon as it was signed in September last year.

The stalemate has worsened the plight of Zimbabweans, with half the population dependent on food aid, astronomical levels of hyperinflation, and a cholera epidemic sweeping the country.

"This is the occasion when it's either they accept or it's a break," Mugabe told Sunday Mail.

"We have gone past negotiations and whatever concessions were there to be made have already been made," he said.

The agreement calls for Mugabe to remain president while Tsvangirai would become prime minister. But they have yet to agree on how to share power within the cabinet. - Sapa-AFP

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