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unity govt hamstrung from start: analysts
February 09, 2009
new unity government looks hamstrung even before the new leaders
take office this week, analysts said Monday, raising doubts over
whether they can end a crushing humanitarian crisis.
Morgan Tsvangirai is set to be sworn in Wednesday as prime minister,
with long-time ruler Robert Mugabe remaining as president.
President Kgalema Motlanthe said that so far the two rivals "seem
to be getting along fairly well."
optimistic that they can at least manage a transition period until
they are ready to hold fresh elections," he told South African
said the union was a shotgun wedding that Tsvangirai only agreed
to after coming under enormous pressure from regional leaders frustrated
at the long months of stalemate.
of mistrust between the two main principals will remain irreversibly
high, leading to threats of pulling out as well as manoeuvres to
get fresh elections as soon as is politically possible," said
Takura Zhangazha, director of the Zimbabwe chapter of the Media
Institute of Southern Africa.
leaders are throwing their weight behind the unity government, Western
powers are reticent, with Washington and London saying they want
to see improvements in the running of Zimbabwe before they will
lift a travel ban and asset freeze on Mugabe.
never achieve total international support in its current form and
therefore will be unable to address the political and humantarian
crisis effectively," Zhangazha said.
The deal was
sealed on Thursday after nearly seven years of talks and a series
of disputed elections.
to a head last March, when Tsvangirai won a first-round presidential
vote and his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) captured a majority
a new wave of the political violence that has shaken Zimbabwe since
Mugabe's first defeat at the polls in a referendum in 2000. Most
of the victims have been opposition supporters, leading Tsvangirai
to pull out of the presidential runoff.
a one-sided victory denounced by Western powers, sparking months
of frenzied lobbying by South Africa to win the power-sharing deal
now finally set to take effect.
independent political analyst Martin Tarusenga said that Mugabe
has tried to dictate the terms of negotiations throughout the years
of talks, and that the unity government would not last without international
by statements made from the West so far, the international community
is not seeing it as an inclusive government," he told AFP.
and his MDC are now looking like lame ducks so the international
community will not support the inclusive government," Tarusenga
is just no trust. Tsvangirai is buckling from SADC pressure and
the pressure from weaker MDC negotiators, those people in the MDC
who believe they have fought a good fight."
African Development Community (SADC) has pushed for the deal as
the best way to end Zimbabwe's stunning economic collapse, with
hyperinflation soaring to astronomical heights.
Only six percent
of the workforce actually has a job, more than half the population
needs emergency food aid, and a cholera epidemic is raging unchecked,
claiming more than 3,300 lives.
Bornwell Chakaodza said he feared that if the unity government failed,
Zimbabwe's crisis could still get even worse.
of the inclusive government will be an indication that there can
no longer be a negotiated and peaceful settlement to the Zimbabwean
political conflict," Chakaodza wrote in his weekly column in
the Financial Gazette on Friday.
would be a violent uprising whose consequences we dare not imagine,"
he feared that rivals within the government would spend more time
feuding within the government than working to solve the nation's
The main issue
"will really be about the politics, and about outmanoeuvring
each other, even at the expense of the masses," he said.
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