SADC’s weekend extra-ordinary summit on Zimbabwe again failed to break an impasse on forming a unity government, prompting opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to appeal to the African Union to step in.
Reports today say after 12 hours of closed-door talks, the 15-nation SADC failed to force Robert Mugabe to a compromise with Tsvangirai.
The summit’s final communique called for the Zimbabwean rivals to form a unity government immediately and to share control of the disputed home affairs ministry, which oversees the police.
But Tsvangirai, who defeated Mugabe in March elections, rejected their proposal as unworkable.
“This issue of co-sharing does not work. We have said so ourselves, we have rejected it, and that’s the position,” Tsvangirai said.
Tsvangirai said that his dispute with Mugabe was not only about the ministry of home affairs, but striking a fair balance of power in the unity government.
“It is about power sharing, it is about equitable power sharing, it is about giving the responsibility to the party that won an election and has compromised its position to share a government with a party that lost,” he said.
“Given this dangerous and precarious situation and the suffering of the people of Zimbabwe, we hope and pray that the guarantors of the agreement, in particular progressive members of SADC and the African Union, will now move very quickly to try and salvage the agreement,” Tsvangirai said.
Mugabe left the summit without making any public comments, it is said before returning to Harare early Monday morning.
You didn’t You didn’t !
Reports described Mugabe as “extremely contemptuous” of Tsvangirai, interrupting him during his presentation.
When the MDC leader said he had won the March 29 election, in which he came first, Mugabe shouted “You didn’t! You didn’t!”
Under the unity accord signed on September 15, 84-year-old Mugabe would remain as president while Tsvangirai would become prime minister.
Tsvangirai said he was still committed to the deal, but said he would not accept Mugabe’s proposals for a cabinet that locks his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) out of critical posts.
Tsvangirai has accused the Mugabe regime of orchestrating attacks against his supporters following his victory in the March election, when they were forced into a runoff after Tsvangirai fell short of an outright majority.
The opposition leader pulled out of the run-off because of the violence, which Amnesty International says has left 180 dead and 9 000 injured.
Although some leaders have taken a tough line on Mugabe, political analysts
say SADC does not have the resolve to impose tough measures, such as
sanctions, to force an agreement.
The heads of state of Botswana and Zambia, the most outspoken regional
critics of Mugabe, did not attend the summit.