Saturday, August 30, 2008

Zimbabwe government must stop stalling

Word from Zimbabwe that power-sharing talks between the government of President Robert Mugabe and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change have stalled shouldn't surprise anyone. Mugabe won't negotiate seriously with MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai because he simply refuses to give up power. Mugabe appears to have been behind a campaign of state-sponsored violence that shredded the country's election process and forced Tsvangirai to halt his presidential campaign in June; MDC supporters were allegedly beaten and tortured during the campaign in government-run re-education camps. He obviously will stop at nothing to retain power, despite the fact that Tsvangirai received the most votes in the first-round of voting in March that was seen as fair by international observers. So it's clear to see why Mugabe's ZANU-PF party rejected the latest proposal from the MDC for the two men to jointly chair the country's powerful cabinet, according to the Reuters international news service. "The only new but nonetheless absurd suggestion from the MDC was that Cabinet be co-chaired by President Mugabe and (MDC leader Morgan) Tsvangirai. ZANU-PF dismissed that, not just as insolent, but also stunning ignorance on how government works," the government-owned Herald newspaper said Saturday, Reuters said. The MDC accused the government of a plot to arrest five MDC members of parliament this week to try to eliminate its majority, Reuters said. It's obviously long-past time for South African President Thabo Mbeki, the regional mediator trusted by Mugabe, to inform Zimbabwe's president that it's long-past time he left office.

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