"There is no cabinet deadlock, Mbeki not needed' – Chinamasa

"We should learn to overcome our challenges and as negotiating parties we feel that we should not find easy ways to avoid taking hard decisions," said Zanu-PF chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa, adding there was no need to continue "abusing" Mbeki’s office.

The leader of the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai, on Thursday denounced the "deadlock" in talks with the ruling party on the composition of a new government.

He called on the intervention of the regional bloc, the Southern African Development Community, which mandated Mbeki, and the African Union (AU).

Since the power-sharing accord was signed on September 15 in Harare, the Zanu-PF and the MDC have met several times without resolving the issue of allocation of ministries and government agencies.

The MDC says Mugabe’s Zanu-PF wants to take influential cabinet portfolios such as defence, home affairs, finance and local government.

According to the Herald, negotiations were continuing and President Robert Mugabe is expected to meet on Friday with Tsvangirai and the head of the MDC splinter group, Arthur Mutambara.

But Tsvangirai’s MDC said it was unaware of such a meeting.

"We have not received any correspondence to that effect," the party spokesperson, Nelson Chamisa, said.

"I suppose Zanu-PF wants to validate its claim that there is no need for the intervention of the mediator," he said.

Mbeki’s spokesperson Mukoni Ratshitanga, simply said that "he (Mbeki) has accepted that he is going to continue with the mediation efforts," either in South Africa, in Harare or over the telephone.