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Conflicting reports blur Zimbabwe deal

By on January 27, 2009

PRETORIA, South Africa (CNN) — African leaders announced Tuesday that a deal that would allow Zimbabwe’s long-stalled power-sharing agreement to move ahead, but the opposition said it had not signed off on the plan.

In a statement issued after talks that stretched into early Tuesday morning, the Southern African Development Community said Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai would be sworn in as Zimbabwe’s prime minister on February 11.

But Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change swiftly responded that its concerns remained unresolved, and said it was disappointed in the process.

“As far as the merits are concerned, our expectation was again that SADC would come up with a just resolution to the outstanding issues in the interest of Zimbabwe and all the parties concerned,” the opposition said in a statement. “It was our expectation that the SADC processes would be aboveboard and beyond reproach.”

Under an agreement signed in September, following Zimbabwe’s hotly disputed presidential election, Tsvangirai would share control of the government with President Robert Mugabe. But Tsvangirai has accused Mugabe of keeping the most powerful portfolios in the government for his ruling party.

The 15-nation SADC has attempted to broker a resolution to the impasse for months. South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, the group’s leader, announced that an agreement had been reached early Tuesday.

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