Zimbabwe deal imminent, Mugabe backs down on key Ministries – Reports

HARARE – Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe could back down on the allocation of key ministries to his ruling ZANU-PF party to save a power-sharing deal with the opposition, state media reported on Thursday.

"There could be some changes to the list (of ministry allocations) gazetted last week as the parties find each other and make compromises for the sake of progress," the state-run Herald newspaper quoted a ZANU-PF official saying.

Zimbabwe’s political parties are close to a deal on forming a cabinet and political analysts say history is being made in negotiations between President Robert Mugabe and rival Morgan Tsvangirai.

Reports say Mugabe is also upbeat, saying he expects talks aimed at rescuing a power-sharing deal to be sealed by the end of today.

Arthur Mutambara, leader of a splinter Movement for Democratic Change faction, says the parties are very close to an agreement.

Meanwhile South African President Kgalema Motlanthe has warned that the international community will not move in to assist Zimbabwe with an economic recovery plan if there’s no government in place as mandated by the power sharing agreement signed last month.

Motlanthe is optimistic that Zimbabwe’s political parties will be able to agree on the disputed matter of equitable sharing of cabinet ministers in the unity government.

President Motlanthe says he believes that former President Thabo Mbeki will be able to break the impasse