Raila: Zimbabwe can breathe easy

September 12, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, September 12 – Prime Minister Raila Odinga hailed Zimbabwe’s power sharing deal on Friday and said that he hoped it would lead to durable peace in the Southern Africa country.

Odinga, in a statement sent to newsrooms, expressed that news of the agreement would end a long spell of uncertainty that had befallen Zimbabwe after the controversial March 29 General Elections.

“Today the people of Zimbabwe can breathe a little bit easier,” said the Prime Minister.

“The news of the power-sharing agreement that has just been concluded ends a long spell of fear, suffering and uncertainty… The accord brokered by South African President Thabo Mbeki has salvaged a significant part of Morgan Tsvangirai’s success,” he uttered.

Odinga stated that he was optimistic the deal would improve the living standards and human rights in that country.

Opposition leader Tsvangirai announced Friday that a new deal had been reached after four days of mediated talks in Harare. Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe has yet to comment on the agreement, which will be signed and made public on Monday.

The government and the opposition MDC had already agreed that Tsvangirai would be Prime Minister and Mugabe would stay on as President. Negotiations have been on and off since the end of July, but have stalled over the allocation of executive power between bitter rivals Mugabe and Tsvangirai.

The March 29 elections were too close to call and Tsvangirai pulled out of a presidential run-off in June, after what he called a ‘campaign of intimidation and violence’ against opposition supporters.

“I salute Tsvangirai for the concessions he made in order to restore normalcy to the country,” the PM added.

He went on to encourage all Zimbabweans to work on building their nation.

“You must press your new government to build unity by ensuring that the power sharing agreement is fully honoured.” His statement concluded by saying that the continent and the world was looking forward to an expeditious implementation of the peace agreement so that ‘Zimbabweans can achieve their great dreams of democracy, peace and justice’. 



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