....The talks are haunted by the spirit of the late Joshua Nkomo, whose fate stands as a warning to anyone trying to strike a deal with President Robert Mugabe.
Joshua Nkomo was, broadly, Mr Mugabe's contemporary, and a Zimbabwean liberation leader of impeccable credentials.
In 1980, at independence, he emerged as an alternative leader to Mr Mugabe.
His support base was in Matabeleland in the south and west of the country.
Mr Mugabe fought him for five years.
He destroyed him in two ways. First he sent into Matabeleland the ruthless, North Korea-trained Fifth brigade.
Thousands of Mr Nkomo's supporters were murdered and their bodies dumped in mass graves in a two-year operation known as Gukurahundi.
Mr Mugabe used what, on the face of it, was sold to the world as a power-sharing agreement to consolidate his own one party state
Then - and this was a master stroke - Mr Mugabe reached an agreement with Mr Nkomo: a power-sharing agreement.
Mr Nkomo was brought into the government as vice-president.
Officially, the two political parties merged to form Zanu-PF, but in reality Mr Mugabe's party swallowed Mr Nkomo's Zapu party whole.
Mr Nkomo was neutralised, destroyed.
Mr Mugabe used what, on the face of it, was sold to the world as a power-sharing agreement to consolidate his own one-party state....