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Daily Archives: September 15, 2008

Zimbabwe parties agree on new cabinet

Zimbabwe's political leaders have agreed on a new government of 31 ministries to be formed after the signing of a power-sharing deal today, state media reported yesterday.
The Sunday Mail quoted justice minister and ruling ZANU-PF chief negotiator Patrick Chinamasa as saying: "The three parties met … to discuss the nomenclature of the ministries.
"We are informed that they agreed on that (the new cabinet)."
President Robert Mugabe, main opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai and the head of a smaller splinter faction, Arthur Mutambara, met on Saturday, the newspaper said.
ZANU-PF's highest decision-making body, the politburo, also met and endorsed the formation of a new government, Chinamasa added.
An agreement reached late Thursday after four days of tough negotiations followed a ruinous political stalemate between the 84-year-old Mugabe and Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
The deal, brokered by South African President Thabo Mbeki, is expected to be signed in Harare today in the presence of a number of African heads of state.
There is widespread international interest in the details of the deal which will be officially released at the ceremony.
A source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said on Friday that Mugabe will be president and head of state while Tsvangirai would be prime minister and head of the goverment with two deputies.
Mugabe will chair the cabinet and Tsvangirai will chair a council of ministers.
There will be 31 ministries split between ZANU-PF with 15, MDC-Tsvangirai with 13 and MDC-Mutambara with three, the source said.
Under the agreement, Tsvangirai would also preside over a national security council (commonly known as the joint operations command) which includes both the army and police.
"Power will be shared, no one will get more power than the other party, even (in) the hiring and firing of cabinet members," the source explained.
"All decisions are made by the council, but the council will have to report back to Mugabe."


Two die from Paris river crash injuries

Two people, who were seriously injured when a pleasure boat carrying 12 people sank in the River Seine in Paris, died yesterday, police said.
The pair, a man in his forties and a six-year-old boy, died within hours of being trapped Saturday night in the sunken boat near the French capital's Notre Dame cathedral for some 20 minutes before frogmen found them.
Their identity was not given.
Ten of the 12 — six adults and six children, all of them French — had been plucked from the water immediately.
Police said the boat was raised from the riverbed Sunday morning but did not give details.
Junior transport minister Dominique Bussereau said late Saturday that the exact cause of the accident was unclear.
An investigation would have to determine whether the boat hit the Archeveque bridge just behind Notre Dame, or collided with a Bateau Mouche, gaudily-lit vessels which carry thousands of tourists up and down the Seine every day.
One of the Bateaux Mouche was later moored near the scene of the accident.