Mugabe: Talks are last chance for opposition

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The Independent Online

President Robert Mugabe ruled out giving any further concessions to Zimbabwe's opposition, saying it has one last chance to join a government of national unity, a state newspaper reported yesterday.

Mr Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will meet today for talks aimed at implementing a power-sharing agreement signed in September but stalled by disagreements over cabinet posts.

"This is the occasion when it's either, they accept, or it's a break," the President said. "If they have any issues they deem outstanding, they can raise them after they come into the inclusive government."

Mr Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change insisted that all outstanding issues be resolved before a unity government was formed. The deadlock has prevented authorities from addressing an economic crisis.

The health, water and education systems have all collapsed, and most major goods are in shortage. Mr Tsvangirai, who won the first round of presidential elections in March, wants an equal share of cabinet portfolios, including the home affairs ministry which controls the police.