MDC NEC meeting underway – Hawks and doves pulling different direction

HARARE – Zimbabwe's main opposition MDC met on Friday to decide whether to join a unity government with President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF under a power-sharing deal that is in danger of crumbling.

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has accused Mugabe of trying to take control of the most powerful ministries and freeze out his party in violation of the September 15 agreement seen as the best chance to rescue Zimbabwe’s wrecked economy.

Although Tsvangirai flatly rejected a resolution in a summit of regional leaders calling for the two sides to share control of the Home Affairs ministry — the main sticking point — the MDC appears to be divided on joining a government.

"Indications are that while there are clear divisions on the matter, those for joining the government appear to be in the minority, but one cannot say with certainty before the meetings end," said a Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) source.

Some MDC officials intend to take the dispute over ministerial allocations and other issues to the African Union, hoping the continental body would put pressure on Mugabe.

Countries in the Southern African Development Community have failed to persuade Zimbabwe’s parties, including a breakaway MDC faction, to bury their differences and move on to the daunting task of easing an economic crisis.

MDC sources say some members of Tsvangirai’s inner circle are leaning on him to join a unity government. But it is not clear if they are succeeding.