Zimbabwe’s rival political leaders, Morgan Tsvangirai and Robert Mugabe, have reached an agreement over a new constitution. Tsvangirai said a “long journey” had ended, while Mugabe said he was “glad” that a deal had been reached. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party and Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party entered into a fractious coalition following the 2008 election, which was marred by violence and allegations of vote-rigging, but now the two parties are beginning to work together.
Details of the deal have not been made public, but it is understood that the powers of the president have been curbed – a key demand of the MDC. There is going to be a referendum on the constitution, followed by an election in October if approved by the people. Mugabe has been in power since since independence in 1980 – is expected to be challenged by Tsvangirai for the presidency.
The MDC had argued that Zimbabwe was a highly centralised state, and power should be devolved to lower levels of government. Agreement had also been reached to overhaul the legal system by creating a constitutional court as the highest of the land. However, it remained unclear what agreement had been reached on the powers of the army, police and intelligence services – another major sticking point between the parties, our correspondent added. There is still a way to go for Zimbabwe, but this is certainly a step in the right direction especially if they work out the exact dispersal of powers within the country.
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