The latest attempt to revive Zimbabwe's power-sharing agreement has failed.
From the Economist Intelligence Unit ViewsWire
"Four months after a power-sharing agreement was signed, Zimbabwe still does not have a permanent government. Robert Mugabe isn't interested in sharing power—but he may lose it.
Zimbabwe's parliament is due to reconvene on January 20th, just 24 hours after the collapse of the latest attempt to resurrect the power-sharing agreement forged in September 2008. Robert Mugabe, leader of the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (Zanu-PF), claims that "we will continue with discussions here at home". However, his main rival, Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the main faction of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), is—understandably—less sanguine, stating that the talks had made no progress and that the failure was the "darkest day of our lives"...
[Mugabe] On the way out?
In fact, economic conditions are likely to prove decisive. After years of misrule, Mr Mugabe's position is becoming increasingly untenable. He has enough influence to remain in power for the time being—possibly even until 2010—but events are conspiring against him. Internally, the economic collapse will mean that nearly half of the population will require food aid during the next six months, increasing the tide of opposition against him. Compounding this is a cholera epidemic that has already killed more than 2,000 and threatens to spill over into neighbouring states. Although popular resentment of his rule has failed to worry Mr Mugabe in the past, the president's ability to keep his patronage networks intact is diminishing. Sources of financing for the government are decreasing in line with the economic collapse, and opposition to Mr Mugabe from within Zanu‑PF is understood to be increasing. It seems likely, therefore, that power will pass out of Mr Mugabe's hands at some point over the next 18 months."