By Moses Muchemwa
Bulawayo (ZimEye)-Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai has issued an ultimatum to Zanu-PF to release over 40 people who were abducted by security agents or the opposition quit the inter-party talks.
Tsvangirai warned that he would pull out of power-sharing talks if those in unlawful detention were not released by 1 January. However reports said the ultimatum has sent shivers down president Robert Mugabeâ€™s security chiefs who have since promised to take the MDC members to court soon.
“This situation can no longer continue. The MDC can no longer sit at the same negotiating table with a party that is abducting our members, and other innocent civilians, and refusing to produce any of them before a court of law. Therefore, if these abductions do not cease immediately, and if all the abductees are not released or charged in a court of law by January 1 2009, I will be asking the MDC’s national council to pass a resolution to suspend all negotiations and contact with Zanu PF. There can be no meaningful talks while a campaign of terror is being waged against our people,” said the MDC leader.
The MDC has accused Zanu-PF of killing talks by abducting and killing opposition supporters.
Western countries have also rejected the power-sharing deal under Mugabe. Britain’s Africa minister, Mark Malloch-Brown told BBC that: “Power sharing isn’t dead, but Mugabe has become an absolute impossible obstacle to achieving it.â€
Jendayi Frazer, U.S. assistant secretary of state for African affairs, said the U.S. felt a viable unity government was not possible with
Mugabe in power.
At the funeral, Mugabe reacted: “The inclusive government … does not include Mr. Bush and his administration. It does not even know him. It has no relationship with him.
(Moses Muchemwa is a journalist and partner with the ZimEye. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)