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Tsvangirai threatens withdrawal from power-sh -

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Tsvangirai threatens withdrawal from power-sharing deal

The World Today - Monday, 13 October , 2008 12:37:00

Reporter: Jennifer Macey

ELEANOR HALL: Zimbabwe's power sharing deal is teetering on the brink of collapse with opposition
leader Morgan Tsvangirai threatening to pull out.

Mr Tsvangirai says he'll walk away from the deal unless his party - the Movement for Democratic
Change - secures more key ministries in the government.

Former South African President Thabo Mbeki is now on his way to Zimbabwe to try to break the
impasse.

But the political deadlock is having a disastrous impact on the economy and the people of Zimbabwe.

As Jennifer Macey reports.

(Sound of chanting)

JENNIFER MACEY: Morgan Tsvangirai was addressing a rally of 15,000 supporters in the Zimbabwean
capital Harare yesterday when he threatened to walk away from the National Unity Government.

He's accusing President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF party of taking all the key ministries and he says
there are some posts that aren't negotiable.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: I'll give you one example. If Zanu takes Defence we take Home Affairs; not
negotiable.

JENNIFER MACEY: An official government list published on the weekend gave Zanu-PF the Defence, Home
and Foreign Affairs, Justice and Mining and Land ministries.

The lesser ministries were left to Morgan Tsvangarai's MDC party.

This violates the power-sharing deal signed last month that gave Mr Tsvangirai the post of Prime
Minister and Robert Mugabe, the Presidency.

Mr Tsvangirai described the distribution of posts by President Mugabe as a grab for power.

MORGAN TSVANGIRAI: This struggle is about change, if we are not given the instruments of effecting
change in your lives, then this arrangement is stillborn.

JENNIFER MACEY: The Zanu-PF says it will take 14 ministries - 13 will be allocated to the MDC and
another three posts would go to splinter faction of the opposition.

Zanu-PF's Information Minister Dr Sikhanyiso Ndlovu says the ministries were divided after long
negotiations.

SIKHANYISO NDLOVU: This has been a long journey; if President Mugabe appoints a cabinet, yes it is
his provocative as head of state and president of Zimbabwe.

JENNIFER MACEY: Now the former President of South Africa Thabo Mbeki is heading to Zimbabwe to try
and break the political impasse.

But since Mbeki lost his position - he's also lost some political clout - yet residents of Harare
remain hopeful.

HARARE RESIDENT: Definitely we have to give him the hope since he is the one who negotiated this
thing. The only mistake that he did, he was supposed to leave this country after all this ministry
allocation has been sorted out.

HARARE RESIDENT 2: I think when Mbeki comes here he must settle this thing once and for all. Look
at this nation: we are starving. Imagine if you can't even get mealie meal, the shops are empty.

JENNIFER MACEY: But the longer this political stalemate drags on - the harder it gets for ordinary
Zimbabweans.

The country is still battling an economic crisis with inflation now as high as 231-million per cent
and the UN World Food Program predicts that almost half the population will face famine shortly and
will need food aid by early next year.

Charles Matope is the chairman for the Australian branch of the Movement for Democratic Change.

CHARLES MATOPE: You see with the continuation of Mugabe's arrogance there is, the life of people is
deteriorating. You know according to the Zimbabwean governments, all calculations of inflation is
now about 200-million per cent.

These estimate that the country needs about $US5-million to feed its own people maybe in a month
through aid then that money is not available. So for the ordinary Zimbabwean, that is a life of
dire poverty, you know.

JENNIFER MACEY: And he's worried that the current financial crisis will make donor nations less
willing to give aid to Zimbabwe.

CHARLES MATOPE: About half the population of the country is expected to starve if there's no
foreign aid, if there's no donations coming from external government and donor agencies. So it is
really a bleak situation that the ordinary person is facing now.

ELEANOR HALL: That is Charles Matope from the Australian branch of the MDC ending that report by
Jennifer Macey.