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New hope for Zimbabwe as leaders sign pact

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New hope for Zimbabwe as leaders sign pact


Zimbabwe is looking to a new future after President Robert Mugabe and the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed up to a power-sharing deal that, it is hoped, will end years of political conflict.

The country had been in limbo since disputed legislative and presidential elections earlier this year.

Under the deal, brokered by South African President Thabo Mbeki, Tsvangirai will become prime minister and chair a council of ministers supervising the cabinet.

Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party will have 15 cabinet seats, Tsvangirai’s MDC 13, while a splinter opposition group will be given three seats.

The agreement allows the veteran president to retain a grip on the army, and the opposition to control the police.

But analysts say it is a fragile arrangement and will require the bitter enemies to maintain a spirit of compromise.

Zimbabweans hope the deal will help turn around a dire economic situation. With inflation running at 11 million percent the once prosperous nation has been brought to its knees.

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