THE Morgan Tsvangirai-led MDC has written a letter to former South African president Thabo Mbeki raising concerns over what it believes is his latest example of backing for President Robert Mugabe.
Nelson Chamisa, the MDC spokesperson, confirmed to the Zimbabwe Independent yesterday that the party had written to Mbeki complaining about a document he authored and presented to the Sadc troika in Swaziland on Monday defending Mugabeâ€™s unilateral allocation of ministries a fortnight ago under the unity government deal.
Chamisa, however, declined to reveal the contents of his partyâ€™s letter to Mbeki.
â€œIt is true the letter was written to Mbeki expressing our utter disgust at the report attributed to him and we were expressing our position in response to the document,â€ Chamisa said. â€œI will not give you details of what was contained in the letter as this will be against the spirit of the negotiations which we are still committed to.â€
Sources within the party said the MDC asked Mbeki to step down as the facilitator of the negotiations between Mugabeâ€™s Zanu PF and the two formations of the MDC because of perceived bias.
The sources said the MDC accused Mbeki of ignoring the concerns raised by the party on the allocation of â€œkeyâ€ ministries and simply endorsed what Mugabe gazetted.
Mugabe allocated to Zanu PF important ministries like defence, foreign affairs, local government and home affairs, but the MDC said the distribution was tantamount to â€œpower grabbingâ€, not sharing.
It said it should be in charge of the ministries of finance and home affairs.
The Sadc troika meeting called to break the impasse on Monday failed to take place after Tsvangirai did not travel to Mbabane arguing that the government should issue him with a new passport. The government had on Sunday reportedly issued him with an emergency travel document valid for three days and not valid for transit through South Africa.
The troika meeting is now expected to take place in Harare on Monday.
Meanwhile, Chamisa said failure by the government to issue Tsvangirai with a new passport was a demonstration of insincerity on the part of Zanu PF in concluding the power-sharing deal
â€œSeveral political events on the ground serve to illustrate Zanu PFâ€™s lack of genuineness and commitment to the political settlement,â€ Chamisa said. â€œThese include the unilateral appointment of provincial governors, the convening of parliament without consent of the MDC, the unilateral allocation of key ministries to Zanu PF, the swearing-in of the two vice-presidents, and the continued use of hate speech and hate language by the public media.â€
Chamisa said it also included the politicisation of food aid and the deployment of soldiers in preparation for by-elections even though the political settlement has frozen all polls for 12 months.
â€œThe history of President Tsvangiraiâ€™s application for a new passport just goes to show the condescending and petty-minded attitude of Zanu PF towards the MDC, with which it is meant to be forging a new political reality, and to the individual who is now the prime minister-designate,â€ he added.
By Loughty DubeÂ