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Tsvangirai commited to revive stalled deal

afrol News, 15 January - Zimbabwe's main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is expected in Zimbabwe on Saturday to revive stalled political agreement with president Robert Mugabe next week. He has been out of Zimbabwe since 10 November when the government refused to issue him a passport.

Mr Tsvangirai signed a power sharing deal with president Mugabe and MDC faction in September 2008, the formation of the unity government has been deadlocked over the allocation of key ministerial positions and senior government positions.

Mr Tsvangirai said MDC remains committed to the deal, and it is willing to work with President Mugabe to resolve the long dragging political and humanitarian crisis in Zimbabwe.

"I still believe that a political agreement offers the best means of preventing Zimbabwe from becoming a failed state. I am committed to forming a new inclusive government in Zimbabwe and all I lack is a willing partner," he told journalists.

Although Mr Tsvangirai has pledged his commitment to the deal, he still maintains that armed forces need to be controlled by all parties involved in the power sharing agreement, saying National Security Council legislation needs to be put in place to determine the management and governance of all security departments.

"The recent abductions, torture and assault of innocent Zimbabweans is further evidence of the need for this legislation," he said.

A number of MDC supporters including activist were abducted between October and December last year, sparking a worldwide concern on the humanitarian crisis and serious human rights violations in president Mugabe's regime.

Mr Tsvangirai accuses president Mugabe of trying to keep too many of the most powerful cabinet posts in the proposed coalition government, which has been a major hassle for a unity government. He said his powers as prime minister must be clearly defined and enshrined in the constitution before he can govern with Mr Mugabe.

He also called for the release of his supporters and urged government to cease arbitrary arrest on activists in Zimbabwe.

"We have been in a struggle for these last 10 years. We have met so many frustrating moments. Should this deal collapse, the MDC will have to find alternative ways of continuing the struggle," Mr Tsvangirai said.

Zimbabwe is suffering a hunger and health crisis and economic meltdown amid the political impasse. A cholera outbreak that has spread because of the crumbling health care system and water supply infrastructure has killed more than 2,100 people since August.

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