HARARE, October 19 – A troika of southern African countries seeking to break Zimbabwe’s political impass "can’t impose" a solution on the rival parties, a spokesman for President Robert Mugabe was quoted as saying Sunday.,
Mugabe and his opposition rivals, Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, will attend a meeting Monday of the Southern African Development Community’s security troika in Swaziland to discuss their deadlocked power-sharing deal, the spokesman told the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper.
"Delegations from the three parties will be called upon to clarify any issues. After this the troika will guide us on the way forward," Patrick Chinamasa, spokesman for Mugabe’s negotiating team, was quoted as saying.
"They can’t impose anything on us especially on such a small matter as the allocation of ministries."
The allocation of key ministries in the formation of a unity government has remained a sticking point for over a month after the agreement was signed.
The deadlock has seen the troubled country turn to its neighbours for assistance.
Chinamasa said "all the principals and their negotiating teams are going" to Monday’s meeting.
"The facilitator will make a report to the (SADC) organ (on politics, defence and security) and we are expected to be around," he said.
Former South African president Thabo Mbeki is the mediator in the negotiations between the rivals which have stalled over the allocation of the defence, home affairs, finance and local government ministries.
Tsvangirai, Mugabe and Mutambara, leader of a breakaway faction of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), signed an agreement on September 15 aimed at forming a power-sharing government.
That government was expected to ease political tensions and tackle the country’s economic crisis which has not shown any signs of abating, with annual inflation officially at 231 million percent.