Tsvangirai Jets in to Revive Deal

 

 

MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai is expected home tomorrow from more than two months of self-imposed exile in Botswana amid reports of efforts for him to meet President Robert Mugabe in a bid to save the faltering power-sharing agreement signed last September.

Tsvangirai will on Sunday chair his party’s national executive meeting in the capital to discuss “a wide range of critical issues” that include the status of the negotiated political deal and “the desperate humanitarian situation characterised by massive starvation” and “the abductions and arbitrary arrests of party and civic activists on trumped-up charges”.

Sources in the MDC-T said if the efforts succeed, Tsvangirai would meet Mugabe and the leader of the smaller formation of the MDC, Arthur Mutambara, on Monday at a venue to be decided.

“There has been pressure from Sadc and other parties throughout the week for the three principals to the deal to meet,” one of the sources said. “If the principals agree to the meeting, it may take place at the latest on Monday.”

Tsvangirai said in Johannesburg yesterday that he would next week meet Mugabe and South African President Kgalema Motlanthe “the coming week”. The meeting had been confirmed by Motlanthe’s office, he said.

In a letter to Motlanthe on December 28, Tsvangirai asked the South African leader to organise a confidential meeting between him and Mugabe to iron out “outstanding issues” in forming the envisaged inclusive government. Tsvangirai wanted Motlanthe to mediate at the meeting. 

 
Tsvangirai  yesterday  said  he was returning to Zimbabwe after more than two months in Botswana as a guest of President Ian Khama.

“I have been out of Zimbabwe since November 10,” he said, “because the regime refused to issue me with a passport. I have used this time to renew our diplomatic offensive to highlight the situation in Zimbabwe and I believe this has added value to our struggle.

“On Christmas day after a six-month wait, I finally received my passport and this Saturday (tomorrow) I will return to Zimbabwe to continue to fulfil the mandate that we, the MDC, have from the people to build a new, democratic, peaceful and prosperous Zimbabwe.”

Tsvangirai said he was prepared to meet Mugabe to form an inclusive government although the 84-year-old leader was not a “committed partner”.

“If Mugabe is serious about working with me to lead Zimbabwe out of its current crisis then he will meet with me to resolve the outstanding issues,” Tsvangirai said.

Tsvangirai said his party would remain committed to the consummation of the global political agreement after the outstanding issues have been resolved.

The MDC is demanding as an imperative that National Security Council legislation be put in place to determine the management and governance of all security departments in the country.

Tsvangirai said the police, CIO and army need to be put under the effective control and management of all parties.  

“The recent abductions, torture and assault on innocent Zimbabweans is further evidence of the need for this legislation,” he said.

The MDC also wants equitable allocation of ministerial portfolios, and a say in the appointment of provincial governors, ambassadors and permanent secretaries.

Tsvangirai said the reappointment of Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono and the appointment of Johannes Tomana as Attorney-General

should be rescinded because they were done in contravention of the memorandum of understanding (MOU) and the GPA signed last July and September by the three parties.

He said without the successful enactment of Constitutional Amendment No19 to legally define the roles of the President and the Prime Minister there would be no basis of the appointments. The Bill is expected to be tabled in parliament on Tuesday.

Tsvangirai bemoaned continued abductions and arrests of opposition and civil society leaders and asked Sadc to intervene.

 “Arbitrary abductions and arrest of opposition, civic society leaders and known democratic advocates is the order of the day.

Jestina Mukoko, Zimbabwe Peace Project director, MDC and civic organisation members are still languishing in prison on trumped up charges,” Tsvangirai said. “I ask Sadc to acknowledge the seriousness of these ongoing crimes under both Zimbabwean and international law by condemning the continued persecution of innocent citizens.”

actment of Constitutional Amendment No19 Bill to legally define the roles of the President and the Prime Minister there would be no basis for the appointments. The Bill is expected to be tabled in parliament on Tuesday.

Tsvangirai bemoaned continued abductions and arrests of opposition and civil society leaders and asked Sadc to intervene.

 “Arbitrary abductions and arrest of opposition, civic society leaders and known democratic advocates is the order of the day. Jestina Mukoko, Zimbabwe Peace Project director, MDC and civic organization members are still languishing in prison on trumped up charges,” Tsvangirai said.

“I ask Sadc to acknowledge the seriousness of these ongoing crimes under both Zimbabwean and international law by condemning the continued persecution of innocent citizens.”

BY WONGAI ZHANGAZHA