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'Mugabe to retain control of army, police'

Zimbabwe Prez Robert Mugabe has unilaterally allocated control of ministries responsible for the army, police and other state security apparatus to his ZANU-PF party.

world Updated: Oct 11, 2008 17:49 IST

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has unilaterally allocated control of ministries responsible for the army, police and other state security apparatus to his ZANU-PF party, a state daily reported on Saturday.

Citing a government gazette, a list published in The Herald gives Mugabe's party 14 ministries including the key portfolios of defence, home and foreign affairs and justice as well as local government and media -- despite opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai calling in mediators over a stalemate in power-sharing talks.

The Herald said Mugabe had allocated ministries "in terms of the agreement signed by the three parties."

Tsvangirai's MDC gets 13, among them constitutional and parliamentary affairs, economic planning and investment promotion, labour and social welfare, sport, arts and culture and science and technology development.

An MDC splinter led by Arthur Mutambara will be in charge of education, regional integration and international co-operation and industry and commerce, the report added.

Mugabe's ZANU-PF signed an agreement on September 15 with the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) led by Tsvangirai and an Mutambara's splinter grouping to form a unity government to tackle long-standing political and economic crises.

The paper said that the talks mediator, former South African president Thabo Mbeki, was expected in the country next week to resolve a dispute over the ministry of finance.

Tsvangirai declared a deadlock in the discussions with Mugabe over the allocation of key ministries and provincial governors and said nothing short of Mbeki's intervention would resolve the stalemate.

The three leaders met on Friday and agreed that there was a need for Mbeki to intervene.