Tsvangirai Accuses Mbeki Of Bias

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday tabled a damning report before the Sadc organ on politics, defence and security meeting in the capital that was highly critical of former South African president Thabo Mbeki’s mediation role in the country’s crisis.

Impeccable sources told the Zimbabwe Independent that Tsvangirai accused Mbeki of not mediating “fairly and impartially”.
The prime minister-designate, the sources said, cited a number of examples when Mbeki allegedly acted in favour of President Robert Mugabe during the negotiations aimed at finding a negotiated settlement to the country’s crisis.
Mozambican President Armando Guebuza chaired the troika meeting in the absence of King Mswati III of Swaziland.
Swaziland’s Prime Minister Sibusiso Dlamini represented the king, while Angolan foreign minister Assunção dos Anjos stood in for President José Eduardo dos Santos.
The meeting failed to unlock the deadlock on the allocation of cabinet posts between Mugabe and Tsvangirai and referred the matter to the Sadc summit expected soon.
Tsvangirai, the sources said, complained that Mbeki last week penned a report to the troika endorsing Mugabe’s unilateral allocation and gazetting of ministries on October 10.
“The MDC leader accused the former South African president of doing nothing to stop the Zanu PF government from violating some of the provisions of the agreement, especially the crackdown on civic organisations and their activists,” one of the sources said.
The MDC, the source added, said Mbeki had failed to stop Zanu PF’s hostile rhetoric against Tsvangirai and his party.
It also accused the Sadc point man on Zimbabwe of failing to stop negative and hate reporting by state media in line with the memorandum of understanding signed by the parties on July 21.
“Tsvangirai complained that Mbeki was not treating the MDC like a party that won the March 29 elections,” another source said. “He accused Mbeki of treating the MDC as a party at the negotiating table courtesy of Zanu PF.”
The former trade unionist also accused Mbeki of having done nothing when it became apparent that the all-inclusive government deal signed on September 11 was different from the one signed on September 15. The MDC alleged that the deal was doctored.
Tsvangirai also attacked the former ANC president of not reining in on Mugabe to ensure his passport is renewed.
The MDC leader did not travel to Swaziland on October 20 to attend the troika meeting aimed at resolving the deadlock on ministries after the government refused to renew his passport. The meeting was then moved to Harare on Monday.
But while Tsvangirai made the scathing attack on Mbeki, the Sadc troika maintained their faith in the facilitator. Sadc executive secretary Tomaz Salomao told a press briefing on Tuesday morning that the regional organ had confidence in Mbeki and it was not its mandate to negotiate travel documents for politicians.
By Constantine Chimakure