Zimbabwe’s opposition MDC wants to head the home affairs, justice and finance ministries under a landmark power-sharing deal agreed with Robert Mugabe.
It is understood that the three portfolios would give it control over the police and prisons, and responsibility for rescuing an economy reeling from the world’s highest rate of hyper-inflation, more than 11 million percent.
Then in return, the MDC is ready to agree to leave Mugabe’s Zanu-PF in charge of other key power ministries.
An MDC Official said late Saturday “Mugabe can have the defence and state security ministries but the MDC should get the home affairs ministry, that is our position, along with the finance portfolio,”
“The reasoning is that security ministries should be shared and Zanu-PF is agreeable to that and for the MDC to have the finance ministry.”
Thursday’s South African-brokered deal is aimed at ending months of crisis in Zimbabwe, where MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai defeated Mugabe in the first round of a presidential election in March, but pulled out of a June run-off citing a systematic campaign of violence against his supporters.
The two were scheduled to meet at the weekend to craft a new cabinet, and Mugabe was briefing Zanu-PF’s top decision-making body, the politburo.
“The president will brief the emergency session of the politburo on the agreement reached during the inter-party negotiations, upon which the politburo will adopt that agreement,” a politburo said.
The politburo is dominated by Mugabe loyalists, and is expected to endorse the deal, under which the opposition is to get more senior ministers than Zanu-PF.
An opposition senator said on Friday Tsvangirai, leader of the MDC would be prime minister and chair a council of ministers that supervised the cabinet under the power-sharing deal.
Zanu-PF would have 15 cabinet seats, Tsvangirai’s MDC 13 and a splinter MDC faction three seats.
There is widespread caution among commentators over how quickly the power-sharing deal can end the crisis or persuade Western powers – deeply opposed to Mugabe – to step in with much needed financial support to aid recovery.
Mugabe, 84, has repeatedly called the MDC a puppet of the West and political analysts said the deal was fragile.