Tue, Jan 27, 2009 - Page 4 News List

Mugabe to form Cabinet with or without the MDC


Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe will form a government after yesterday’s regional summit in South Africa with or without a deal with opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai, a minister said.

“This summit is the last summit that is going to discuss this issue of an inclusive government. If it does not work today, definitely when the president comes back here, he has to form a new government with or without Morgan Tsvangirai,” Deputy Information Minister Bright Matonga said.

“The way forward, soon after this summit whether there is an agreement or there is no agreement, President Mugabe is going to form a Cabinet, 15 Cabinet ministers, eight deputy ministers of ZANU-PF,” he said in an interview on public broadcaster SA FM.

“He will obviously try to leave room for Tsvangirai so that whenever he changes his mind ... but that is not going to be for too long. He will then come to join the all-inclusive government. There has to be a government whether there is MDC or not,” Matonga said.

Southern African leaders were to renew efforts to break Zimbabwe’s political deadlock at a summit in Pretoria yesterday, as Mugabe comes under increasing international pressure.

Mugabe and rival Tsvangirai signed a deal more than four months ago to share power and form a unity government, but it has yet to be implemented because of the failure to agree key posts.

The pact has floundered since last September over which party will control top public posts, including the home affairs ministry, which oversees the police.

The latest attempt by the 15-nation Southern African Development Community to forge a breakthrough comes one week after talks in Harare between the rivals collapsed in acrimony.

Yesterday’s summit in Pretoria was to be hosted by South African President Kgalema Motlanthe.

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