MDC says deal must strip Mugabe of some power

GWERU, – Zimbabwe's opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Sunday it would not sign any power-sharing deal that gives President Robert Mugabe sweeping powers.

"We are not going to compromise with this old man on that issue," MDC Secretary-General Tendai Biti told a rally to celebrate the party’s ninth anniversary in the city of Gweru in central Zimbabwe.

Post election talks are deadlocked over how to share executive power between Mugabe and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai, putting off any chance of rescuing Zimbabwe from its economic collapse.

"There are others who are simply shouting that we should sign this agreement. But we are not simply going to sign. The people must know that we will not negotiate away the principle of democracy," said Biti.

The MDC has lost faith in negotiations with Mugabe and will leave him to form a government alone rather than be forced into a deal, a party official said on Thursday.

Tsvangirai beat Mugabe in a March 29 election but fell short of enough votes to avoid a June run-off, which was won by Mugabe unopposed after Tsvangirai pulled out, citing violence and intimidation against his supporters. Reuters