Morgan Tsvangirai blasts Mugabe (14-06-07)

By Peter Kadiki

MOVEMENT for Democratic Change (MDC) president Morgan Tsvangirai has blasted the Zanu (PF) government, which he says is being contemptuous and pre-emptive of the Sadc dialogue being spearheaded by President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

Tsvangirai told a press conference in Harare on Wednesday that the endorsement by the Mugabe cabinet of a proposed Constitutional Amendment Number 18 that Zanu (PF) is pursuing an agenda aimed at undermining the legitimate and widely-backed dialogue initiative of the Sadc grouping.

Mugabe’s cabinet gazetted the amendment bill last week, which among other things seeks to lay the foundation for holding harmonised elections next year as well as increase numbers of parliamentary and senate representatives.

Tsvangirai said that the Mugabe regime is trying to avoid the mandatory constitutional reforms and just do some cosmetic alterations.

“The bill is being gazetted in the background of unprecedented economic meltdown. The same period has seen unmitigated water and electricity shortages,” he said.

“There are thousands of Zimbabweans of Zimbabweans fleeing the country and being deported.
Zimbabwean hospitals are now death beds. Given this background, Constitutional Amendment Number 18 is not about food or jobs it is about power and its maintenance by Zanu (PF).

“This country is tired of piecemeal constitutional amendments. As far as we are concerned, Zimbabwe needs a new people-driven constitution. Constitutional Amendment 18 is both pre-emptive and contemptuous of the Sadc dialogue initiative.”

Tsvangirai called on Sadc leaders to be careful about Zanu (PF)’s tactics of diverting attention. “We therefore call on Sadc to remain focused on the 29 March resolution on dialogue to solve the crisis in this country,” he said.

The Sadc heads of state met in Tanzania in March for an emergency meeting to deliberate on the Zimbabwean political logjam worsened of late by Mugabe’s refusal to go despite even opposition from within his party.

The Dar-es-Salaam meeting resolved to mandate Mbeki to mediate between the ruling party and the opposition but Zanu (PF) has been absconding from meetings to establish the agenda for dialogue-CAJ News.

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