Former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s spokesman said he is flying to Zimbabwe to help resolve a deadlock in power-sharing talks to end that country’s crisis.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe announced at the weekend that he is allocating all key ministries in the proposed unity government to his party.
Before a chanting, cheering crowd of more than 10,000 of his supporters, Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai said on Sunday in Harare that his party would walk away from a power-sharing deal rather than settle for the imbalanced division of ministries handed down by Mugabe the day before.
Mbeki spokesman Mukoni Ratshitanga said the former South African president was to fly to Zimbabwe yesterday afternoon.
African leaders asked Mbeki to mediate over disputed results of elections in which Tsvangirai’s party won most votes.
Mbeki persuaded the rivals to share power on Sept. 15, but they cannot agree Cabinet posts.
Tsvangirai said that at a minimum his opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change, must control the Finance and Home Affairs ministries. The Home Affairs Ministry oversees the police.
Before this year’s elections, thousands of his supporters were beaten and more than 100 killed in a violent campaign that witnesses and election monitors said had been led by the military as the police stood by passively, or actively collaborated.
Mugabe has given his own party, ZANU-PF, which has been in power for the past 28 years, the crucial ministries, including those that control the army, the police and foreign affairs.
He also provisionally assigned his party the Finance Ministry, regarded as crucial in a country where production has collapsed, poverty has deepened and annual inflation has soared to 231 million percent.
“What ZANU-PF wants is not power-sharing, but power-grabbing, and we must not allow that to happen,” Tsvangirai said.
There is also pressure from the opposition’s rank and file to pull out of the talks. At the rally on Sunday, many in the crowd angrily shouted out in Shona, the language of Zimbabwe’s majority: “Get out of the talks!”
Tsvangirai won the March elections but not by an outright majority. He withdrew from the June runoff, citing extreme violence against his workers and supporters.
‘CONFESSED’: A court in Beijing said that former CCP member Ren Zhiqiang abused his power at a state firm and embezzled almost US$7.14 million of public funds A Chinese tycoon who called Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) a clown and criticized his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic was yesterday jailed for 18 years for corruption, bribery and embezzlement of public funds. Ren Zhiqiang (任志強) — once among the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) inner circle — disappeared from the public eye in March, shortly after penning an essay that lambasted Xi’s pandemic response. His outspokenness had earned the former chairman of state-owned property developer Huayuan Group the nickname “Big Cannon.” Yesterday’s verdict said that Ren embezzled almost 50 million yuan (US$7.4 million) of public funds and accepted bribes worth 1.25 million
AUSTRALIAN SITE: China has had a contract with SSC’s Yatharagga station since at least 2011, but the last time it used it was in June 2013. No final date has been given China would lose access to a strategic space tracking station in Western Australia when its contract expires, the facility’s owners said, a decision that cuts into Beijing’s expanding space exploration and navigational capabilities in the Pacific region. The Swedish Space Corp (SSC) has had a contract allowing Beijing access to the satellite antenna at the station since at least 2011. The station is located next to an SSC satellite station primarily used by the US and its agencies, including NASA. The Swedish state-owned company said it would not enter into any new contracts at the Australian site to support Chinese customers after
OFF BORDER ISLAND: The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel wearing a life jacket and leaving behind his shoes, indicating an intentional move, Seoul said North Korean soldiers shot dead a suspected South Korean defector at sea and burned his body as a COVID-19 precaution after he was interrogated in the water over several hours, Seoul military officials said yesterday. It is the first killing of a South Korean citizen by North Korean forces for a decade, and comes with Pyongyang at high alert over the COVID-19 pandemic and inter-Korean relations at a standstill. The fisheries official disappeared from a patrol vessel near the western border island of Yeonpyeong on Monday, the official said. More than 24 hours later, North Korean forces located him in their waters and
The scarcity of commercial flights landing at Sydney Airport has been a disaster for airlines and workers, but for hobby pilots the COVID-19 pandemic has provided the opportunity of a lifetime. The quieter-than-usual runways mean that private pilots have been given the chance to land at the international airport for the first time. When Sydney Flight College club captain Tim Lindley put out a call, he received an overwhelming response. He eventually organized for 14 light aircraft to fly into Sydney airport on Sunday. “For a lot of the pilots involved, including myself, it was a childhood dream to land in a big