Power Struggles Continue in Zimbabwe and South Africa

By Nontando Hadebe 10-06-2008

"When two elephants fight it is the grass that suffers." - African proverb

The disagreements over which party controls the top six key posts of finance, home affairs, justice, agriculture, information, and local government have led to an impasse in the implementation of the agreement and setting up of a government. ZANU (PF) wants all the key posts, a sign that there is no intention to share real power. There were unconfirmed rumors that the main opposition party (MDC-Tswangirayi) may withdraw from the agreement, but it is unlikely at this stage. They are intent on not backing down on their demands for equal share in the six posts to ensure that they are not marginalized.

However, as the fighting over power and positions continues, the suffering of citizens intensifies daily. The United Nations and other organizations have estimated that 5 million Zimbabweans are in need of food aid. Zimbabweans have been on a political roller coaster since the elections of March 29th! It is not only Zimbabweans who have a stake in this agreement but regional and continental institutions. These institutions are the official sponsors of the agreement and are responsible for its implementation. Should this agreement fail to be implemented, it will bring to question the effectiveness of these bodies in dealing with issues on the continent. It is a precarious situation with no end in sight. It's hard to keep faith, yet how can we live without it? Your prayers are appreciated.

On a different note, a brief update on the situation in South Africa. It's been like a 'revolving door' with resignations from Mbeki loyalists and new appointments to replace them. These movements reflect dissention and divisions within the ANC, and there is talk of a breakaway party. So the transition has its challenges and dangers

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