Harare(ZimEye)The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T) has described the Tuesday meeting between president Robert Mugabe and cabinet ministers belonging to his party as a ‘Zanu PF caucus’ and not a cabinet meeting in terms of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) upon which the transitional coalition government is founded.
Zanu PF, through its mouthpieces, The Herald and ZTV had claimed that Mugabe chaired a ‘cabinet meeting’ in the absence of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and all MDC ministers who boycotted the meeting to protest Mugabe’s continued violation of the GPA.
However, in a statement, the MDC said, “Any purported Cabinet decision made by the Zanu PF caucus in the absence of all the three political parties is null and void.”
The MDC said their withdrawal from the regular cabinet meetings held on Tuesdays was meant to put pressure on Mugabe to fulfill promises made in a September 2008 power-sharing agreement. The party said it had now taken the matter to the regional grouping known as the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU), who are the guarantors of the GPA.
Tsvangirai has launched a regional offensive to meet SADC chair Joseph Kabila and the group’s head of the organ on defence, security and politics, Armando Guebuza, who is also the president of Mozambique. Apparently, Mugabe has been stung by Tsvangirai’s ability to get a ready audience with the regional leaders who are now fed up with the long-time dictator’s delaying tactics which they say are hurting the region’s efforts to attract international assistance.
The MDC accuses Mugabe of harassing its members and officials through politically-motivated arrests and detention without trial, farm invasions, seizure of businesses and violence perpetrated by the security forces controlled by the 85-year-old despot. Mugabe has also been making unilateral appointments of his allies to senior government positions, including central bank governor, attorney-general and regional governors.
The rest of the MDC statement reads:
“MDC ministers did not meet with Zanu PF ministers for the weekly meetings in Cabinet after the party’s National Executive resolved to disengage with Zanu PF pending the resolution of all the outstanding issues.
“The MDC ministers held a meeting at the party headquarters while Zanu PF ministers held a Zanu PF minister caucus meeting elsewhere.
“The MDC last week resolved to disengage from Zanu PF. The party will not attend meetings such as Cabinet and the Council of Ministers but will continue, as the trustees of the people’s mandate, to work towards bringing real change to the people of Zimbabwe.
“At their meeting, MDC ministers deliberated on various issues affecting the people such as the issue of inputs ahead of the agricultural season, media reforms and the stalled Constitution-making process, among others.
“Meanwhile, President Morgan Tsvangirai is in the region explaining the MDC’s decision to disengage which has been well appreciated by the people of Zimbabwe who want real change by having all the outstanding issues resolved.
“The matter of the outstanding issues is now before SADC and the African Union as the guarantors of the GPA to help resolve the crisis.
“The people of Zimbabwe want real change. They want to see meaningful reforms that can kick-start the economy and open a new patch of development, freedom, hope and security.” (ZimEye, Zimbabwe)