Friday, April 4, 2008

Mugabe considering stepping down in exchange for forced immunity

HARARE - Robert Mugabe's aides have told Zimbabwe's opposition leaders that he is prepared to give up power in return for immunity from prosecution, South African newspaper Mail and Guardian reports. The aides have warned that if the opposition not agree then Mugabe is threatening to declare emergency rule.

Yesterday evening authorities searched offices of the main opposition party and detained foreign journalists, fueling fears that ruling party hard-liners were trying to block a deal to end President Robert Mugabe's 28 years in power.

Five days after weekend balloting, the country's election commission still had not released results of the presidential voting.

Opposition sources close to negotiations with the ruling party said there appeared to be divisions between those who wanted to fight to maintain power and those who were willing to negotiate a deal that would allow them to protect the property and other benefits they have accumulated in nearly three decades in power.

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