Draft Deal Sees Ceremonial Role For Mugabe

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will run the country under a mooted draft agreement while President Robert Mugabe will become ceremonial president, a South African newspaper reported on Wednesday.


The Star said a draft document circulated among negotiators in Zimbabwe’s power-sharing talks in South Africa also proposed an amnesty for Mugabe and others implicated in political crimes.

The paper said there was no agreement yet but quoted unnamed sources as saying the rival parties were receptive to the draft document.

Zimbabwean government and MDC officials were not immediately available for comment.

Mugabe’s ruling Zanu-PF began power-sharing talks with Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) two weeks ago following Mugabe’s re-election in a widely condemned poll boycotted by the opposition.

The Star said the draft settlement would be the basis for talks between Mugabe and Tsvangirai in Harare on Thursday.

According to the draft, Tsvangirai would head the government as executive prime minister during a transitional period, appointing two deputies, one from Zanu-PF and one from the MDC.

But the report said the MDC wants a 24 to 30 month transitional period while Zanu-PF prefers a five-year period.

The two sides are under heavy international pressure, including from within Africa, to resolve a crisis that has ruined the once prosperous economy and flooded neighbouring states with millions of refugees.

The opposition says only Tsvangirai can lead a new government because he won a first-round presidential vote in March before pulling out of the June 27 run-off because of violence he says killed 122 of his supporters.

Zanu-PF has said it will not accept any deal that fails to recognise Mugabe’s re-election. – Reuters

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