Mugabe, opposition Zimbabwean leader close to inking national unity deal

August 7th, 2008 - 2:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Johannesburg, Aug.7 (ANI): Zimbabwe’’s President Robert Mugabe and the countrys main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai”, are reportedly meeting today to discuss the final aspects of a 50-page draft unity agreement that could end the existing politico-economic crisis. Under the proposed pact, Mugabe’’s Zanu-PF and Tsvangirai’’s MDC party envisions the former becoming a ceremonial president and the latter as prime minister and head of government until new elections are held, reports The Telegraph.
Under the draft agreement, as reported in “The Star”, a Johannesburg daily, Zanu-PF would control the defence ministry while the MDC would run home affairs, which includes police and prisons.
Other key ministries, including finance, land and justice, would go to independents although finding such people in a deeply divided nation may be impossible.
The Joint Operations Command, the collection of generals who now wield ultimate power, would be made answerable to a National Security Council chaired by Tsvangirai.
Though the deal could vindicate South African President Thabo Mbekis insistence on solving Zimbabwe’’s impasse through quiet diplomacy, a Western diplomat has been quoted as saying that it effectively amounts to creating a government of national unity, and nullifies the wishes of the people of Zimbabwe who want Tsvangirai to be president.
Observers said it could leave key institutions, including the army and the Reserve Bank under Mugabe’’s control.
According to the paper, the worst outcome for Tsvangirais Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) would be to join a marginalised and powerless government pandering to Mugabes wishes.
That was the fate of Joshua Nkomo’’s ZAPU party after it merged with the ruling Zanu-PF in the Unity Accords of 1987.
“Unless Tsvangirai has real executive power then the whole thing will break down almost immediately,” said a constitutional lawyer in Harare.
A new constitution would be required to implement the agreement and Mugabe would have to appoint Tsvangirai to the Senate for him to become prime minister.
Foreign aid has been promised if there are reforms in Zimbabwe, where inflation officially runs at 2.2 million per cent. A senior Western diplomat said: “We will look at the deal. If it reflects the will of the people as of March 29, then fine, if not then nothing will change. It is very shocking that people go and vote and then land up with a government of national unity, which is not what they voted for.” (ANI)

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