SANCTIONS HURT

HARARE - Western sanctions on Zimbabwe are interfering with the work of the unity government, President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party said yesterday ahead of a visit by President Jacob Zuma.

HARARE - Western sanctions on Zimbabwe are interfering with the work of the unity government, President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party said yesterday ahead of a visit by President Jacob Zuma.

"We hope President Mugabe tells President Zuma that the outstanding issues are that of sanctions and external interference," said Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, Mugabe's lead negotiator in the unity talks.

Chinamasa insisted that his party had met its obligations under the unity accord, known as the Global Political Agreement, and dismissed concerns raised by the Movement for Democratic Change.

"The so-called outstanding issues, which are the issues of the (Central Bank) governor and the attorney-general, are nowhere in the Global Political Agreement," he said.

"This is meant to distract attention from the inclusive government," he said. "There is continued external interference in our affairs."

Mugabe joined a unity government in February with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister.

The former rivals remain deadlocked over the appointment of the Central Bank chief, blamed for presiding over the collapse of the currency, and the attorney-general, who continues to prosecute MDC supporters.

Zuma was due in Harare yesterday. - Sapa-AFP

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