Page last updated at 10:12 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 11:12 UK

Mugabe 'to form government alone'

Robert Mugabe
Mr Mugabe was humiliated during his speech before MPs

Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says he will form a new government despite stalled power-sharing negotiations with the opposition, state media reports.

"The MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) does not want to come in apparently," he is quoted as saying.

The BBC's Karen Allen says such a move would be the death-knell for the South African-brokered talks to end the post-election crisis.

Meanwhile, three MDC MPs were arrested on Tuesday when parliament was opened.

Two other opposition MPs had been arrested the day before, although one was later released.

"MDC views this continued harassment and arrest of MDC legislators by the state security agents as a direct affront to the will of the people of Zimbabwe," the party said in a statement.

The police have said the arrests were in connection with rape, attempted murder and political violence.


Our correspondent in Johannesburg says Mr Mugabe was speaking in bullish mood about forming a government alone, after being booed and jeered by opposition MPs at the formal opening of parliament on Tuesday.

We remain committed to a dialogue process that is going to produce an acceptable outcome for all the players
MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa

Following the March elections, Mr Mugabe's Zanu-PF lost its majority in the House of Assembly for the first time since independence in 1980.

The president looked annoyed and raced through the final lines of his speech and it must have been humiliating for him, as the speech was broadcast live on national television, our reporter says.

"We shall soon be setting up a government," the Herald newspaper quotes him as saying.

At the start of his speech on Tuesday, Mr Mugabe had said there was "every expectation" that a power-sharing deal would soon be agreed.

The MDC says it still wants the talks to continue.

"We remain committed to a dialogue process that is going to produce an acceptable outcome for all the players, an inclusive government," Reuters news agency quotes MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa as saying.

Last week, MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai said the balance of power between the president and the prime minister - a new post Mr Tsvangirai would take - was still a stumbling block at the negotiations.

Mr Tsvangirai won the first presidential round in March, before pulling out of a June run-off, citing a campaign of violence against his supporters.

The president said he regretted the "isolated cases of political violence" earlier this year and blamed all parties.

The MDC says some 200 people were killed and 200,000 forced from their homes.


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National Post National Post Editorial Board: Zimbabwe won't heal until Mugabe is gone - 1 hr ago
Telegraph Robert Mugabe crushes Zimbabwe powersharing hopes - 4 hrs ago
Yorkshire Post Mugabe greeted by jeering in Zimbabwe parliament - 5 hrs ago
Nigeria Guardian Opposition denounces Mugabe's plan to form govt - 8 hrs ago
Times DailyZimbabwe Parliament Opens to Jeers and Arrests - 12 hrs ago
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