MDC: "Mugabe's plans endanger talks"





Zimbabwe's main opposition MDC said on Wednesday plans by President Robert Mugabe's government to convene parliament would endanger power-sharing talks between the country's political rivals.

The political deadlock over who will control the government has hindered efforts to ease Zimbabwe's economic crisis. The government said on Tuesday it planned to convene parliament and swear in deputies elected in March 29 polls early next week.



But MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti said in a statement that if parliament was convened, it would be against a framework agreement governing the power-sharing talks which began nearly a month ago and which could end Zimbabwe's deep political crisis.



"Any decision to convene parliament will be a clear repudiation of the Memorandum of Understanding, and an indication beyond reasonable doubt of ZANU-PF's unwillingness to continue to be part of the talks. In short convening parliament decapitates the dialogue," Biti's statement said.



In March elections, ZANU-PF lost its parliamentary majority for the first time since independence from Britain in 1980, but Morgan Tsvanigrai's MDC did not win an overall majority either.



The balance of power rests in the hands of a breakaway opposition faction led by Arthur Mutambara.



He has moved closer to Mugabe in recent weeks and any deal between them could weaken Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's most powerful opposition leader, and add to political uncertainty.



The MDC initially said on Tuesday it had no objection to the opening of parliament but would reject any moves by Mugabe to appoint a cabinet before any power-sharing deal is reached.



Zimbabwe's Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, ZANU-PF's chief negotiator in the talks, said: "Yesterday, they said they had no problem with parliament opening, and today they have a problem? I have no comment on that."



Negotiations began last month after Mugabe was re-elected unopposed in June, in a vote condemned around the world and boycotted by Tsvangirai because of attacks on his supporters.



Crisis



Inflation rocketed to a staggering 11 million percent in June, the world's highest by far, from 2.2 million in May, and chronic food, fuel and foreign currency shortages are worsening.



Zimbabweans hope for a new leadership that can find a quick way to tame price growth and ease hardships that have driven millions out of the country and strained regional economies.



Tsvangirai's MDC challenges Mugabe's legitimacy, but under Zimbabwean law, parliament is convened and officially opened by the state president.



The issue of who will run the government is a major obstacle to an agreement, and there are no guarantees that a deal will bring reconciliation and long-term stability.



MDC officials fear Mugabe is manoeuvring to give Tsvangirai only a few ministries.



Southern African heads of state at a regional summit in Johannesburg over the weekend failed to push ZANU-PF and the MDC into an agreement.



Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £60,000

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Care Workers Required - The London Borough of Bromley

£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This homecare agency is based in Beckenh...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Recruitment Genius: Sales Executives - OTE £50,000

£25000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you passionate about Custom...

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum