অ্যাকসেসিবিলিটি লিংক

Zimbabwe Political Rivals Sign Power-Sharing Deal

  • VOA News

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has signed a power-sharing deal with the opposition to relinquish some of his control for the first time in nearly 30 years.

Mr. Mugabe and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara shook hands over the accord before a crowd of several thousand in Harare on Monday.

The ceremony was marred by supporters of the rival parties trading insults and throwing stones outside the venue. Riot police were called to restore order.

Mr. Mugabe will remain president under the deal. Tsvangirai, who leads the largest faction of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, will become prime minister. Mutambara, the head of a smaller MDC faction, will be deputy prime minister.


Tsvangirai said the new government's first priority is to address food shortages. Poor harvests and the world's highest inflation rate, 11-million percent, have made it hard for many Zimbabweans to feed themselves.

Critics blame the situation on the policies of Mr. Mugabe, especially his government's seizure of white-owned commercial farms beginning in 2000.

In his remarks today, the 84-year-old Mr. Mugabe accused Britain and the United States of interfering in Zimbabwean affairs, but he also said he is committed to the deal.

The agreement calls for Mr. Mugabe to chair the Cabinet, while Mr. Tsvangirai leads a newly created council of ministers. The president's ZANU-PF party will control 15 ministerial positions, while the two opposition factions will control 16.

The deal followed several weeks of negotiations between the MDC and the president's ZANU-PF party. South African President Thabo Mbeki brokered the agreement to end political turmoil that followed disputed presidential elections.

The European Union, which has imposed sanctions on Zimbabwe, welcomed the power-sharing deal. But EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said the bloc must review details of the deal before any sanctions can be lifted.

XS
SM
MD
LG