"Talks boycott to continue" – MDC

Harare – Zimbabwe's main opposition party warned on Tuesday that unless its leader Morgan Tsvangirai is issued a passport he will not attend a meeting next week aimed at breaking a deadlock in power-sharing talks.

Tsvangirai boycotted a meeting of a key committee of the Southern African Development Community in Swaziland on Monday. He complained that the Zimbabwean government’s refusal to grant him a passport made it difficult to get to the meeting and symbolised Robert Mugabe’s refusal to treat him as an equal.

Mugabe and Tsvangirai signed the power-sharing deal last month, but are deadlocked over how to allocate ministries in a 31-member unity Cabinet. Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party of trying to hold on to too many of the most powerful ministries.

Because of Tsvangirai’s absence from Monday’s meeting, officials rescheduled the meeting to next week, and said it would be held in Zimbabwe.

However, their efforts may be "in vain", Tsvangirai’s party said.

The party said the "failure" to issue a new passport to Tsvangirai ahead of the rescheduled meeting would indicate that Mugabe’s party’s is not willing to continue with the agreement.

"And therefore, the attendance of President Tsvangirai at next week’s meeting will serve only to present a false impression of the relationship," between Mugabe’s party and the opposition, the statement said.
– AP