Page last updated at 17:30 GMT, Tuesday, 16 September 2008 18:30 UK

Tsvangirai moves to assure Mugabe


Tsvangirai on power-sharing deal

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister-designate Morgan Tsvangirai has said President Robert Mugabe has nothing to fear from the historic deal signed on Monday.

In his first interview as PM, Mr Tsvangirai told the BBC that Mr Mugabe had a "paranoid obsession" that there was an attempt to overthrow him.

Mr Tsvangirai said this was not the case and that confidence was vital if Zimbabwe was to be rebuilt.

Monday's power-sharing deal ended a decade of rivalry between the two men.

The division of cabinet posts have not yet been finalised but the deal proposes a 50-50 division of power, with Mr Mugabe remaining head of state and head of the cabinet.

Mr Tsvangirai will head a council of ministers, which will be responsible for the day-to-day managing of the country's affairs.

'Build confidence'

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader said Mr Mugabe was "naturally" reacting to his own paranoid obsession that the deal was an attempt at regime change.

We have to reverse this serious decline that the country's faced
Morgan Tsvangirai

But he said Mr Mugabe had committed to the deal and that "whatever attitudes he displays it is really an ingrained hatred or hate for certain parts of the world".

Mr Mugabe has said Britain, the former colonial power, is behind Zimbabwe's problems and seeking regime change.

"We have to build confidence in him, in order for him to build confidence in the nation," said Mr Tsvangirai.

"That's our task, there's no conspiracies against him as an individual."

He also denied fears that the power-sharing set-up would lead to two competing centres of power, led by the two men.

Basic needs

Mr Tsvangirai said the government's first practical step would be to provide people with food and remove the climate of "pervasive fear".

"We have to start by giving people the necessary freedoms so that when they are walking around doing their job, they are not harassed by the police, they are not intimidated."

He said the government needed to demonstrate that they wanted to deal with the "really basic" needs of Zimbabweans and that negative attitudes would have to end.

"We cannot continue to go into the future with this pervasive fear, hate, intolerance, suspicion, mistrust," he said.

"We want this to work - people are suffering and [Mr Mugabe] has to play his part. We have to reverse this serious decline that the country's faced."

Power-sharing diagram

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