Zimbabwe deal on the verge of collapse

Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe's opposition leader, accused President Robert Mugabe of "power grabbing" and has threatened to pull out of a power share unless Cabinet posts were distributed fairly.

Thabo Mbeki, the former South African president, arrives in Harare today to try to break the deadlock and salvage the fragile deal that is designed to end years of political and economic crisis in Zimbabwe.

"If this mediation fails, we will say this marriage has failed to be consummated and we cannot force things. There will be no option but to go our separate ways," Mr Tsvangirai told thousands of supporters at a rally yesterday. "I will never betray the people and give in to Mugabe.

"This deal is not about Mugabe or Tsvangirai, it's about the people of Zimbabwe." Over the weekend, the Zimbabwean President published a Government notice, allocating three key ministries to his Zanu-PF party – defence, which controls the army; home affairs, which controls the police; and finance, key to resuscitating the nation's devastated economy where even the official rate of inflation is 231 million per cent.

"An idiot wouldn't accept that," Mr Tsvangirai said. "That is not power sharing, it is power grabbing." The decision to issue such a notice ahead of Mr Mbeki's arrival spoke volumes about "Mugabe's unguarded arrogance" and his contempt for the mediation process, the opposition leader added.

Mr Tsvangirai was adamant that he wanted at least two of the three key ministries for him to be part of any power sharing deal. He argues that the less powerful portfolios allocated to him by Mr Mugabe virtually demote him to junior partner, when he won the parliamentary elections and first round of the presidential poll.

Mr Mugabe had originally pledged to the opposition the home and finance briefs, but sources close to the President said he had changed course under heavy pressure from senior military brass, who fear prosecution for their abuses in the fight to keep the President in power.

The opposition leader stressed yesterday that he did not control of the police to wage a campaign of retribution, but to ensure the restoration of law and order, a prerequisite for investment to start trickling back into Zimbabwe. Western investors have already said they will not fund a government in which Mugabe would retain significant control.

Ever since the power-sharing agreement was signed on 15 September, it has looked decidedly precarious, and it remains to be seen whether Mr Mbeki will be able to pull it back from the brink.

Sources close to the South African mediation effort rate Mr Mbeki's chances of persuading Mr Mugabe to reverse his position from very slim to non-existent. After being ousted as South African head of state, he has been severely weakened as a mediator, some believe, and now lacks the clout to rein Mr Mugabe in.

Suggested Topics
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
News
i100
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Residents of Derby Road in Southampton oppose filming of Channel 4 documentary Immigration Street in their community
tv
Sport
Scottish singer Susan Boyle will perform at the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony in Glasgow
commonwealth games
News
A 1930 image of the Karl Albrecht Spiritousen and Lebensmittel shop, Essen. The shop was opened by Karl and Theo Albrecht’s mother; the brothers later founded Aldi
people
News
Lane Del Rey performing on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury 2014
people... but none of them helped me get a record deal, insists Lana Del Rey
Arts and Entertainment
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson stars in Hercules
filmReview: The Rock is a muscular Davy Crockett in this preposterous film, says Geoffrey Macnab
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
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

IT Portfolio Analyst/ PMO

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum Excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd:...

Systems Analyst (Technical, UML, UI)

£30000 - £40000 Per Annum + excellent benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Lt...

Cost Reporting-MI Packs-Edinburgh-Bank-£350/day

£300 - £350 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Cost Reporting Manager - MI Packs -...

Senior Private Client Solicitor - Gloucestershire

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: Senior Private Client Solicitor - We are makin...

Day In a Page

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy': A land of the outright bizarre

Noel Fielding's 'Luxury Comedy'

A land of the outright bizarre
What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

What are the worst 'Word Crimes'?

‘Weird Al’ Yankovic's latest video is an ode to good grammar. But what do The Independent’s experts think he’s missed out?
Can Secret Cinema sell 80,000 'Back to the Future' tickets?

The worst kept secret in cinema

A cult movie event aims to immerse audiences of 80,000 in ‘Back to the Future’. But has it lost its magic?
Facebook: The new hatched, matched and dispatched

The new hatched, matched and dispatched

Family events used to be marked in the personal columns. But now Facebook has usurped the ‘Births, Deaths and Marriages’ announcements
Why do we have blood types?

Are you my type?

All of us have one but probably never wondered why. Yet even now, a century after blood types were discovered, it’s a matter of debate what they’re for
Honesty box hotels: You decide how much you pay

Honesty box hotels

Five hotels in Paris now allow guests to pay only what they think their stay was worth. It seems fraught with financial risk, but the honesty policy has its benefit
Commonwealth Games 2014: Why weight of pressure rests easy on Michael Jamieson’s shoulders

Michael Jamieson: Why weight of pressure rests easy on his shoulders

The Scottish swimmer is ready for ‘the biggest race of my life’ at the Commonwealth Games
Some are reformed drug addicts. Some are single mums. All are on benefits. But now these so-called 'scroungers’ are fighting back

The 'scroungers’ fight back

The welfare claimants battling to alter stereotypes
Amazing video shows Nasa 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action

Fireballs in space

Amazing video shows Nasa's 'flame extinguishment experiment' in action
A Bible for billionaires

A Bible for billionaires

Find out why America's richest men are reading John Brookes
Paranoid parenting is on the rise - and our children are suffering because of it

Paranoid parenting is on the rise

And our children are suffering because of it
For sale: Island where the Magna Carta was sealed

Magna Carta Island goes on sale

Yours for a cool £4m
Phone hacking scandal special report: The slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

The hacker's tale: the slide into crime at the 'News of the World'

Glenn Mulcaire was jailed for six months for intercepting phone messages. James Hanning tells his story in a new book. This is an extract
We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

We flinch, but there are degrees of paedophilia

Child abusers are not all the same, yet the idea of treating them differently in relation to the severity of their crimes has somehow become controversial
The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

The truth about conspiracy theories is that some require considering

For instance, did Isis kill the Israeli teenagers to trigger a war, asks Patrick Cockburn