Zimbabwe government says SADC can’t impose cabinet deal


Harare : Zimbabwe Sunday said the the South African Development Community (SADC) troika could not impose a decision on the government regarding the deadlock on the distribution of ministry portfolios.

Support TwoCircles

Zimbabwe’s government said in remarks published Sunday that it would not abide by a decision to be made by the SADC Troika regarding the deadlock on the distribution of the cabinet posts.

“They (Troika) can’t impose anything on us, especially on such a small matter as the allocation of ministries,” Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa and a negotiator for President Robert Mugabe’s Zanu PF party told the state-run weekly the Sunday Mail.

Four days of negotiations in Harare last week failed to break an impasse between Mugabe’s party and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) over the distribution of cabinet posts.

Mugabe is accused of refusing to relinquish some key ministries such as home affairs and finance in the power-sharing deal. Under the Sep 15 deal, Zanu PF is supposed to get 15 posts while the opposition gets 16.

The matter has since been referred to the SADC troika which is comprised of the leaders of Swaziland, Angola and Tanzania.

Mugabe, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, who heads a splinter of the MDC, together with their negotiating teams, are expected to travel to Swaziland’s capital Mbabane where the troika meeting will take place.

Reacting to the comment by Chinamasa, MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said: “It is not surprising that Zanu PF wants to impose its position on the government, it has shown that it is against the spirit of sharing but it wants to distribute the power and treat us like its babies. We are glad that the world now knows it.”

After the breakdown of the talks Friday, Tsvangirai told the media that “for an inclusive government to work the principle of equitable distribution of power should be embraced”.

He added that the sides still seemed to be “far from this principle. We are concerned that there is an attempt to reduce the MDC to a meaningless position in the coalition government”.