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Zimbabwe rivals go for Mbeki talks

HARARE, October 14 – Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai arrived Tuesday at a Harare hotel for talks with former South African leader Thabo Mbeki on a faltering power-sharing deal.

They were joined by Arthur Mutambara, leader of an opposition splinter group, who also signed the deal reached four weeks ago aimed at forging a unity government.

The deal has since foundered over disputes on how to divide key cabinet posts, with Tsvangirai threatening to pull out of the pact after Mugabe awarded the most important portfolios to his own party.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe made no remarks as they entered the building, but Mutambara told reporters that he was outraged that they were still arguing over the cabinet.

"The fact that we are still bickering over cabinet posts is a travesty of justice," Mutambara said.

Under the deal, 84-year-old Mugabe remains president, while Tsvangirai takes the new post of prime minister with Mutambara as his deputy.

Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change won a majority in parliament in March elections, but the two leaders were forced into a runoff in the presidential race.

Although Tsvangirai came out ahead in the first round, he pulled out of the June runoff, citing political violence that left more than 100 of his supporters dead.

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