Zimbabwe talks resume

October 17, 2008 12:00 am

, HARARE, October 17 –  Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai began a fourth day of talks Friday aimed at rescuing a power-sharing deal that has become mired in disputes over key cabinet posts.

The two leaders went to a Harare hotel where former South African president Thabo Mbeki is mediating their negotiations.

As he arrived for the talks, Mugabe told reporters: "It’s a day for deals."

But Tsvangirai sounded more cautious when asked if he believed a deal would be struck.

"We all have to have hope, don’t we?" he said.

An official in Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) warned that the talks could collapse if Mugabe refuses to cede control of key ministries.

"If they do not shift their position, there is no deal," the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Under the pact brokered by Mbeki one month ago, 84-year-old Mugabe would remain president while Tsvangirai takes the new post of prime minister.

But Tsvangirai has threatened to pull out of the deal after Mugabe announced last weekend that he would award his own party the most powerful cabinet posts in the proposed unity government.


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