London, Aug.22 : Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has abandoned a negotiated solution with Opposition Leader Morgan Tsvangirai at the behest of the generals who prop him up.
Sources told The Independent that the embattled 84-year-old Mugabe has now set himself on a collision course with the opposition and international community after declaring he will open parliament next Tuesday despite his failure to agree a power-sharing deal.
Zimbabwe's military chiefs, led by Constantine Chiwengwa, the head of the army, believe Mugabe has already offered to cede "too much power" to Tsvangirai in a deal now on the table, which the latter has refused to sign.
The defence chiefs have demanded that Mugabe make no further concessions to Tsvangirai and his Movement for Democratic Change, even it means the dialogue collapses completely.
Instead, they are pushing Mugabe to dissolve parliament shortly after it resumes sitting next week. He could then order fresh elections in which the ruling Zanu-PF party could overturn the MDC's narrow majority through a campaign of terror similar to that deployed between the first and second round of presidential voting.
The ruling party controls 99 seats and Tsvangirai's MDC 100, while a smaller faction of the MDC, led by the erratic Arthur Mutambara, controls 10. The remaining seat is held by an independent.
Mugabe only needs to regain seven seats to control parliament. He is already trying to woo opposition MPs with bribes.