09 October 2008
Some observers of the stop-start power-sharing process in Zimbabwe, which Movement for Democratic Change founder and prime minister-in-waiting Morgan Tsvangirai declared to be on hold Thursday pending intervention of a mediator, should be considered as no more than a bridge to another and more decisive round of national elections.
Twenty-four days after the long-ruling ZANU-PF party of President Robert Mugabe and both formations of the MDC subscribed to a power-sharing accord on Sept. 15, the cabinet for the envisioned national unity government has yet to be named - not to mention the passage through parliament of the necessary enabling constitutional amendment.
No surprise, then, that some in Zimbabwe and abroad are beginning to wonder if power-sharing will take hold in Harare or if the country will continue its downward slide beset by hyperinflation last officially measured at 231 million percent and hunger widespread.
For an assessment of the power-sharing process, reporter Patience Rusere of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe turned to National Constitutional Assembly Chairman Lovemore Madhuku and Africa Policy Institute President Peter Kagwanja in Pretoria, South Africa.
Madhuku said the deadlock was an early warning sign that power-sharing is doomed to fail. The two agreed that only another round of elections can resolve the national crisis.
From Everton, South Africa, Studio 7 listener Norman Mashumi said ZANU-PF and the MDC must put their differences aside to ensure power-sharing does not fail. From Tafara, Harare, Tee Vee said he is skeptical MDC-ZANU-PF power-sharing can work, noting that conditions for ordinary Zimbabweans are fast deteriorating while the politicians bicker.