, HARARE, Dec 5 – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe told his South African counterpart he is not happy being in a power-sharing government with long-time challenger Morgan Tsvangirai, a state weekly reported Sunday.
"I told President (Jacob) Zuma I am a lawyer and I am not happy to be in a thing which is semi-legal," Mugabe was quoted as saying by The Sunday Mail, revealing for the first time details of meetings with Zuma last month to try to prevent the collapse of Zimbabwe\’s power-sharing government.
"Our authority as a government does not derive from a properly constituted constitutional position but from a makeshift arrangement and Zimbabweans should never be governed on such a makeshift arrangement for too long.
"I feel awkward in a thing like that, absolutely awkward," he is quoted as saying.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed the power-sharing government last year to ease tensions in the aftermath of a bloody presidential run-off election in 2008 and to mend an economy ravaged by a nearly decade-long crisis.
Under the agreement, the country is expected to hold elections after a new constitution has been adopted.
But the constitution-making process, which has been marred by violence at public meetings, has yet to be completed.
Mugabe\’s ZANU-PF party has declared polls will be held around June next year with or without the new constitution agreed to in the power-sharing deal.
Tension has also been rising in the unity government following disagreements among top government officials and haggling over the allocation of key jobs.
Last month Tsvangirai, the prime minister and head of the Movement for Democratic Change – Tsvangirai (MDC-T), asked the high court to revoke Mugabe\’s appointment of provincial governors saying he had not been consulted.
But Mugabe vowed he would not reverse the disputed appointments.
"We remain resolute that there won\’t be any movement on governors until we see a commitment on the part of the MDC-T to end sanctions and pirate radio stations," Mugabe was quoted as saying by The Sunday Mail.
The long-time ruler accuses Tsvangirai of calling for Western sanctions including a travel embargo against himself and members of his inner circle, and of using pirate radio stations broadcasting from abroad to peddle lies about him and his party.
He has vowed not to make compromises on issues hampering the power-sharing government until the United States and the European Union lift the sanctions and pirate radio stations cease broadcasts in Zimbabwe.
Zuma met with Zimbabwe\’s leaders on November 26 to try to smooth over disputes threatening their government.
"There had been a breakdown of communication between the leadership of the government here. That has been resolved," he said afterwards.
"The meetings (between Mugabe and Tsvangirai) are going to continue. All the issues are going to be discussed and resolved," he said.