1. Home
  2. Southern Africa
  3. Zimbabwe

Memorandum of understanding signed by rivals

Morgan Tsvangirai. IRIN

Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe, and opposition leaders Morgan Tsvangirai and Arthur Mutambara, signed a memorandum of understanding in the capital Harare today, paving the way for talks to resolve the country's political impasse.

South African President Thabo Mbeki, appointed last year by the Southern African Development Community to mediate in the crisis, presided over the ceremony at a Harare hotel. The memorandum "commits the negotiating parties to an intense programme of work to try and finalise the negotiations as quickly as possible," Mbeki reportedly said.

The memorandum imposed a 14-day timeframe on negotiating a solution between the ruling ZANU-PF party and both wings of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. The signatories stayed behind after the signing to continue with the talks.

The document called for the parties to put and end to their "divisions" and "conflicts", which have characterised Zimbabwean politics in the recent past.

The general elections on 29 March, in which the ZANU-PF party lost its majority in parliament for the first time since independence in 1980, and Mugabe came off second best in the presidential poll, was followed by a run-off presidential ballot on 27 June.

Tsvangirai withdrew from the run-off election in protest against the political violence that the MDC claim has killed more than 100 people to date, and led to thousands more being displaced.


This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

Share this article

Hundreds of thousands of readers trust The New Humanitarian each month for quality journalism that contributes to more effective, accountable, and inclusive ways to improve the lives of people affected by crises.

Our award-winning stories inform policymakers and humanitarians, demand accountability and transparency from those meant to help people in need, and provide a platform for conversation and discussion with and among affected and marginalised people.

We’re able to continue doing this thanks to the support of our donors and readers like you who believe in the power of independent journalism. These contributions help keep our journalism free and accessible to all.

Show your support as we build the future of news media by becoming a member of The New Humanitarian. 

Become a member of The New Humanitarian

Support our journalism and become more involved in our community. Help us deliver informative, accessible, independent journalism that you can trust and provides accountability to the millions of people affected by crises worldwide.