Talks on Zimbabwe unity government start in South Africa

July 22nd, 2008 - 5:13 pm ICT by IANS  

Johannesburg, July 22 (DPA) Talks between Zimbabwe’s political parties on the formation of a powersharing government were due to get underway Tuesday in South Africa, a day after President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai inked an agreement to negotiate. South African diplomatic sources confirmed that the talks would begin Tuesday, but refused to divulge the venue or give other details.

Mugabe, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, leader of a breakaway MDC faction, Monday signed a memorandum of understanding setting out the agenda and the ground rules for the two weeks of talks on the formation of an “inclusive” government.

Analysts have said it will likely take more than two weeks for Mugabe’s Zanu-PF and the MDC to agree on who should lead such a government.

Mugabe claims he is the legitimate president after being sworn in for a further five years in June following an election run-off he alone contested.

Tsvangirai claims he is the country’s rightful leader because he won the first round of the presidential elections in March.

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