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Page last updated at 13:09 GMT, Monday, 15 September 2008 14:09 UK

Zimbabwe voices

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai

BBC News website readers from Zimbabwe give their reaction to the power-sharing deal that has been signed by the country's President Robert Mugabe and his long-time rival and now Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

VICTOR, HARARE

We accept that there cannot be a better way than this for now.

There's no quick fix because of the atmosphere that exists.

But something good might come out of it.

It is important for us all not to take sides.

And that we commit to the deal.

CH, HARARE

Definitely we are excited about this deal.

It should be a new beginning for a new Zimbabwe.

We are hopeful and await the implementation.

ESTHER, 28, PROFESSIONAL, HARARE

We are all very happy.

We are just waiting to hear the practicalities of the deal now.

Some people are pretty excited. But a number are still sceptical and are just watching and waiting.

I can understand their sentiments because we've been in a situation like this before - in the 1980s.

I was talking to one lady that I go to church with. We are hoping that the rumour that Tsvangirai has control of the police force and the judiciary is true. They definitely need to be non-partisan because they are there to uphold the law.

I am hoping that Tsvangirai will not fall into any of Mugabe's traps and that he can fulfil the role as he has said he will.

I can't wait to be able to go to South Africa on holiday instead of going to buy cooking oil.

I spoke to my sister in South Africa yesterday and she, like many other Zimbabweans outside the country, is very sceptical.

She was actually quite shocked at my celebratory mood over the news of the deal.

But you know, people here have been through so much and the mood now is one of an anticipated relief that is coming soon.

I am personally hoping for the best.

SYD, HARARE

I believe this deal will end the political crisis, although it won't be as instant as most people think because for as long as the parties share power 50-50, there will always be antagonising when it comes to political issues.

However, Mr Mugabe seems to have taken a back seat in the agreement which has been announced, it seems as if he will have a very small role to play even though he will head the security forces and chair the council of ministers.

I believe that with MDC having the majority in parliament and with Mr Tsvangirai as prime minister, MDC is now effectively the ruling party.

The transition will take a bit of time though as many in Zanu-PF stand to lose a lot of wealth.

E TEMBO, HARARE

The power-sharing deal is a relief to us Zimbabweans. We have suffered for many years yet we are a hard-working nation.

It is very unfortunate that there was a one-man-band in charge.

Effectively the agreement abolishes this.

We hope this is the beginning of better things to come.

RICHARD, 53, OPERATING SUPERINTENDENT, HWANGE

Today is wonderful for all Zimbabweans. It is like Christmas has come to us all.

Everyone is very happy and the feeling is one of optimism.

What the European community should respect now is that all the signatories are all Zimbabweans and their signing of the deal shows they respect the deal and agree to abide by it.

There is no way that this deal can make everyone happy but we really have to put our differences aside.

First, I want to see the political divisions disappear.

And I want all the Zimbabweans who have left over the past few years to come home and re-build our country.

I also want the sanctions to be lifted, for the economy to be re-instated and food to be appear back on the shelves.

I want to see the end of corruption.

Our government is an inclusive one now.

The speeches that mattered most to me were Tsvangirai's and Mugabe's.

I hope that Prime Minister Tsvangirai will now be his own man and not be manipulated by anyone. I also want people to think the best and stop believing or fearing that Mugabe will go back on his word.

The old man has signed and that is a big deal - he's a proud man, he's 84 and he's been ruling for so long.

He must be treated with respect like a grandfather. The youngsters must listen to him.

We must remember that when a man kills an oxen, he passes on the meat and the carcass but never the head - that must be kept because it shows who killed the oxen.

'DESPONDENT', 46, HARARE

I was feeling optimistic but after hearing the speeches I am not anymore.

After hearing the president's speech I am so depressed.

The way he was talking about the past and colonialism. It makes me wonder if he's committed or not.

But God knows we need some light at the end of the tunnel.

We need food in our stomachs, water, regular power, medical treatment and drugs.

We need fuel.

We need our dignity restored.

If this is done, then everyone will feel happier.

And I will believe in this deal.

No water has run from my home taps since 28 March earlier this year and so for me, to just open my tap at home and get water - that would change my mind.

Likewise if I could walk into a chemist and buy my son the asthma pumps he needs, that would do it for me.

My son is asthmatic but I can't even buy his medication here.

I am despondent about the deal. I think I have seen too much suffering and I feel completely knocked down. I cannot trust Mugabe. My hope has died.

I hope I am proved wrong. I want to feel hope again.



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