Zim deal signed, but is it all over?

By Jessica Edgson

cartoon by kate bryan

Cartoon: Kate Bryan

With the recent resignation of our president, most of South Africa’s attention has shifted away from the power-sharing deal signed by President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangarai in Zimbabwe. It has been some time now since the deal was signed, yet the specifications of the agreement still have not been set in stone. Some fear that if the delicate talks are not handled with care, the power-sharing deal may remain on paper only.Since the signing of the deal on 15 September, details of the coalition government have not been specified. Long-standing president Robert Mugabe will remain in his position while MDC leader Morgan Tsvangarai will take up the position of Prime Minister. The Cabinet Minister positions have not yet been decided on as Mugabe has been in New York. According to News24, spokesperson for the MDC, Nelson Chamisa said, “Mugabe’s negotiators don’t seem to have had necessary consultation with him on the way forward”. With the resignation of Thabo Mbeki, who has played the role of mediator in the talks, it is not certain whether these talks can continue and whether the new ANC leaders would do a better job. Political scientist, John Makumbe believes that, without Mbeki, the power-sharing talks might not continue with much success. Chamisa’s point of view is that Mbeki’s absence could be in favour of the MDC. According to the South African Development Community, however, Mbeki will remain as mediator for the talks unless the new ANC leaders object.

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