"We agreed to give them (the opposition Movement for Democratic Change) 13 ministries while we share the ministry of home affairs, but if the arrangement fails to work in the next one-and-a-half to two years, then we would go for elections," Mugabe was quoted as saying by The Herald newspaper.

Zimbabwe has been in political limbo since elections in March when the opposition wrested control of parliament from Mugabe’s party and MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai pushed Mugabe into second place in a presidential poll.

But Tsvangirai pulled out of a run-off poll in June after dozens of his supporters were killed in attacks blamed on Mugabe supporters.

‘The MDC should say no if they do not want to be part of the inclusive government’

The two rivals did sign an agreement in September to share power, but it has yet to be implemented after fierce disagreements over who should control key ministries.

In his comments published by The Herald, made during an address to members of his Zanu-PF party’s politburo, Mugabe accused the MDC of trying to destroy the power-sharing agreement.

"The MDC should say no if they do not want to be part of the inclusive government," said Mugabe, 84, who has ruled the former British colony since independence in 1980.

"We agreed to work with the Movement for Democratic Change so that we push government programmes together as a country, but when elections are announced we go against each other."