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

Get the day’s top headlines in your inbox every morning

Starting at just $5 a month, you can become a member of The New Humanitarian and receive our premium newsletter, DAWNS Digest.

DAWNS Digest has been the trusted essential morning read for global aid and foreign policy professionals for more than 10 years.

Government, media, global governance organisations, NGOs, academics, and more subscribe to DAWNS to receive the day’s top global headlines of news and analysis in their inboxes every weekday morning.

It’s the perfect way to start your day.

Become a member of The New Humanitarian today and you’ll automatically be subscribed to DAWNS Digest – free of charge.

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.