Global News Journal
Beyond the World news headlines
from Africa News blog:
President Robert Mugabe joined the mourning for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's wife on Tuesday and called on Zimbabweans to end violence and support his old rival to help rebuild the country.
The death of Susan Tsvangirai in a road crash in which her husband was also injured has, at least on the surface, brought about a show of unity between Zimbabwe’s bitterest foes that might never have looked possible.
"This is a difficult moment for our colleague. He has lost a partner and we must all rally to support him and lessen his burden,” Mugabe told mourners at the service for the woman who supported Tsvangirai through years of political struggle against him.
"To our supporters, we want to say violence should stop. That's what (Mrs) Tsvangirai would have wanted, for us to co-exist peacefully. We have just started a new life after years of fighting each other and insulting each other. We have said let's give peace and harmony a chance and work together."
Southern African leaders have decided at a summit that Zimbabwe should form a unity government next month but the opposition said it was disappointed with the outcome, raising doubts over chances for ending the crisis.
The 15-nation SADC grouping said after the meeting in South Africa – its fifth attempt to secure a deal on forming a unity government – it had agreed that opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai should be sworn in as prime minister by Feb. 11.
From a distance it is always hard to picture just how hard life is in Zimbabwe and to imagine how much worse it can get. For so long we have been writing about economic collapse, inflation statistics beyond comprehension, the fact that at least a quarter of the country has fled to seek work abroad and that life expectancy has tumbled.
Commentators have long spoken of the dangers of a possible ‘meltdown’. The signs of what that might look like have grown stronger this week.
It’s a familiar pattern.
Mugabe imposes his will and MorganTsvangirai’s opposition cries foul.
Will former South African President Thabo Mbeki be able to mediate a breakthrough? After being ousted as president by his ANC party, he might not be so confident to be seen walking hand in hand with Mugabe at the airport as he has in the past.
There have been so many swings from optimism to pessimism and back again, that Zimbabweans might find it hard to believe there finally appears to be a power-sharing deal after two months of talks.
According to both sides, President Robert Mugabe has agreed to share power with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai after 28 years of rule that concentrated power in his own hands.
This week’s reopening of Zimbabwe’s parliament had been seen by many as a show of defiance by President Robert Mugabe against an opposition that has so far rejected terms of a power-sharing deal that appear more acceptable to the veteran leader and to at least some of his regional counterparts.
But it may not have gone quite to plan.
The election of the parliamentary speaker chosen by the main opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) came in spite of efforts by Mugabe’s ZANU-PF to bring in the candidate of the breakaway MDC faction. Members of that faction appear to have sided with opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai rather than their own party leadership.