EU nations today condemned moves by Zimbabwe’s president Robert Mugabe to take control of key ministries in defiance of a power-sharing deal with opponents.
South Africa’s former president Thabo Mbeki is bound for Zimbabwe to mediate a solution that would allow opposition groups to share power with Mugabe, as was agreed in September.
EU ministers issued a statement urging Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai to work out their differences and ensure they share power.
Mr Tsvangirai yesterday threatened to pull out of the national unity government if Mugabe refused to cede control of the defence, home and foreign affairs, justice, mining and land ministries.
Mugabe’s party allocated only minor ministries to Mr Tsvangirai’s party, which won a slight majority in parliamentary elections in March.
Mugabe’s party maintains that Mr Mbeki only needs to mediate over one outstanding ministry – finance – and claims all the others are settled.
The EU has said it will keep sanctions against Zimbabwe until a power-sharing government is in place and it has met international demands for economic and political reforms, including better human rights.
The EU decided in July to increase sanctions against Mugabe’s supporters to keep up the pressure on him.