Monday, September 15, 2008

Pact signed

from the uKGuardian
The Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe, and the opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, today shook hands perfunctorily after signing an agreement to share power that could be the prelude to western financial help for the country's wrecked economy....

In a sign of the changing times, Tsvangirai - who will become prime minister under the deal - addressed the dignitaries first after the signing rather than Mugabe. He appealed for unity among Zimbabweans and for help from the international community to rebuild the country.

"Let us not be divided by the past but united in the hope for the future," Tsvangirai said in a speech frequently punctuated by cheers and applause. He left until the end of his address to mention Mugabe, saying he was extending the hand that had signed the power-sharing agreement to the president....

Under the broad outlines of the deal, Tsvangirai would become prime minister and would chair a council of ministers that supervised the cabinet. Mugabe's Zanu-PF party would have 15 cabinet seats, Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change 13, and a splinter MDC faction three seats.

The opposition has demanded control of the police, while agreeing to allow Mugabe – who has been in power since independence in 1980 - to retain control of the military. Both the police and military have been blamed for state-orchestrated violence and torture of Mugabe's opponents....

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