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Zimbabwe deal under tremendous strain

Zimbabwe has been under a tremendous political and economic whirlwind for the last several months. The country is a basket case economically, with all development indices down and inflation levels in the million percent level (the highest in the world). On the political front, the disputed last elections (which both the separate fronts claim and which independent observers claim were deeply flawed) led to a massive increase of tension in Zimbabwe. To try to resolve this situation, a deal for power sharing was negotiated by the then South African Prime Minister Thabo Mbeki, in which the 2 fronts of Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe agreed to share the ministries and resolve the tension sweeping the country. However, the deal is now getting bogged down in disputes over who gets which ministry:

South African former leader Thabo Mbeki said he was “very optimistic” about the chances of a breakthrough in talks Monday to resolve the deadlock between Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe. Mbeki and several leaders from the 12-member Southern African Development Community were in Harare Monday to meet with Tsvangirai and Mugabe in a bid to salvage the power-sharing deal signed last month.
The power-sharing agreement was to end months of turmoil and violence that followed the country’s March presidential elections. Tsvangirai garnered the most votes in March but did not win enough to avoid a runoff with Mugabe, who has ruled the country since its independence from Britain in 1980. The MDC leader withdrew days before the June 27 runoff with Mugabe, alleging that Mugabe’s supporters had waged a campaign of violence and intimidation against opposition supporters. He said he could not participate in the election.

Getting the tension resolved, getting a smooth Government in operation, and creating an atmosphere conducive to the smooth running of industries (including getting back investors) is necessary to prevent Zimbabwe from continuing on the current path of economic disaster.

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