Besmirching Robert Mugabe pins hopes on MDC to accept latest gamesmanship

HARARE – Zimbabwe's Zanu PF leader Robert Mugabe said on Monday he hoped leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), Morgan Tsvangirai would change his mind and accept a proposal by regional leaders to set up a unity government.

"I hope they will" agree, the Zanu PF leader told reporters as he boarded his aeroplane back to Harare, following an emergency heads of state meeting on his country’s crisis in neighbouring South Africa.

"We will try to constitute (the new government) as quickly as possible," said Mugabe, who unilaterally appointed key ministries to his own ruling Zanu-PF last month.

Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who defeated Mugabe in March elections, has already rejected the proposal by the Southern African Development Community (SADC), which called for the rivals to share the disputed home affairs portfolio.

The summit’s final communiqué called for the Zimbabwean rivals to form a unity government immediately and to appoint joint ministers to the home affairs ministry, which oversees the police.

"This issue of co-sharing does not work. We have said so ourselves, we have rejected it, and that’s the position," Tsvangirai told reporters during the night.

Tsvangirai said that his dispute with Mugabe was not only about the ministry of home affairs, but striking a fair balance of power in the unity government.

The latest failed diplomatic effort – which attracted only five leaders from the 15-nation bloc – leaves Zimbabwe’s people sinking deeper into a humanitarian crisis.

Inflation is running at more than 231 million per cent and half of the population requires emergency food aid. – AFP