Mugabe hints at cabinet concessions

Zimbabwe president Robert Mugabe may change the cabinet line-up he unilaterally announced last week in an effort to save a power-sharing deal, the state-run newspaper reported today.

The Herald government mouthpiece quoted an unidentified official from Mugabe’s ruling party as saying compromises could be made.

Mugabe had claimed the most powerful cabinet posts for his own party, including the ministry in charge of police. The opposition denounced the move and threatened to abandon talks on forming a unity government after disputed elections.

During the crisis, former South African President Thabo Mbeki has been mediating discussions with Mugabe, main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, and Arthur Mutumbara, leader of a smaller opposition faction.

The three resumed their talks today.

Without a political agreement, Zimbabwe has been rudderless as its economy deteriorates.

Inflation is 231 million percent. Food, medicine and most other basic goods are scarce. The UN estimates 45% of Zimbabwe’s population, or 5.1 million people, will need food aid by early next year.

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