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No progress at regional Zimbabwe summit: MDC

By on January 26, 2009

PRETORIA (Reuters) – A regional summit aimed at pushing Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the opposition to implement a power-sharing deal has made no progress, an opposition official said on Monday.

The agreement is seen as a chance to prevent an economic collapse that could put added strain on neighbours which already host millions of Zimbabweans who fled in search of work and, more recently, to escape a deadly cholera epidemic.
An official of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said the 15-member regional SADC bloc summit had not persuaded the rivals to implement the power-sharing deal signed last September.
“We are worlds apart. If we were (inches) apart we are now miles apart,” the MDC official told Reuters.
Mugabe and Tsvangirai signed the agreement in September but have failed to agree on control of cabinet posts, with neither side showing any sign of compromise.
“Questions concerning Zimbabwe are continuously being raised in capitals and streets of Africa, with the expectation that the Zimbabwean leadership of all persuasions, under the aegis of SADC, will resolutely resolve the impasse with decisiveness and statesmanship,” South African President Kgalema Motlanthe told the summit. “I trust that we will not fail them.”
Mugabe, in power since 1980, and his ZANU-PF party have urged the opposition to join a unity government but say they will not hesitate to form one without them.

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