Biti to take up key post

FREE MAN: MDC's number two, Tendai Biti, leaves the court in Harare last Friday after a judge ended his treason trial. 06/02/09. Pic. Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi. © AP.
FREE MAN: MDC's number two, Tendai Biti, leaves the court in Harare last Friday after a judge ended his treason trial. 06/02/09. Pic. Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi. © AP.

Zimbabwe's opposition number two, Tendai Biti, will take up a post of government minister later this week, sources with the Movement for Democratic Change said yesterday, rejecting reports he had decided to boycott the power-sharing deal.

Zimbabwe's opposition number two, Tendai Biti, will take up a post of government minister later this week, sources with the Movement for Democratic Change said yesterday, rejecting reports he had decided to boycott the power-sharing deal.

"He's going to be in cabinet. It's going to happen, 100percent," a senior official in the party said.

"We were all a bit surprised by this thing [MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai's agreement to join a Mugabe-dominated government] but he's fully behind this now," said another party official.

Both sources tipped Biti to become finance minister, the most prominent of the 13 ministries awarded to the MDC in a September power-sharing deal, according to which Mugabe remains president and Tsvangirai becomes prime minister.

Mugabe's Zanu-PF will control 15 ministries and a breakaway MDC faction led by Arthur Mutambara will have three.

Tsvangirai is scheduled to be sworn in as prime minister tomorrow. The cabinet is due to be sworn in two days later.

MDC secretary-general Biti was part of the more hardline faction within the MDC that opposed joining a government that is heavily skewed in Zanu-PF's favour.

The MDC had previously insisted on a more equitable deal. - Sapa-dpa

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