Tsvangirai says Zanu-PF is the stumbling block to the talks

Tsvangirai says Zanu-PF is the stumbling block to the talks

20 August 2008
MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai has hit back at suggestions that he is the stumbling block to the current power-sharing talks, instead blaming Zanu-PF for their failure to cede some of the powers held by Robert Mugabe.


Let them demonstrate what powers they have ceded to the prime minister or to the other party. Identify those areas and you will easily see who the stumbling block is,’ Tsvangirai said in response to questions by ZimOnline.


Commenting on reports he was not being sensible to claim complete executive powers when, he and his party did not win an absolute majority, Tsvangirai replied; We are talking about shared executive power. Anyone who claims that we are overplaying our hand doesn’t understand the mandate given to us by the people on 29 March. The thing that is fundamental is that the people of Zimbabwe spoke. Fifty-seven percent of the people who voted said they no longer had any confidence in Mugabe. If you then consider the events of June which was not accepted by anyone, then you can ask where Mugabe derives his legitimacy. It’s ZANU PF which is therefore overplaying its hand. Mugabe can only get legitimacy by saying that he is the caretaker president until another election is held. That’s why there is need for a transition. That’s why Mugabe cannot continue to enjoy the same powers he had before.’


The MDC President pointed out there was no such thing as collective executive authority as favoured by Zanu-PF and the other MDC faction.


He said somebody has to be responsible, considering there would be two centres of power, both seemingly doing the same job. Tsvangirai believes job descriptions for the President and Prime Minister should be spelt out clearly. 


Why are they afraid to do that? That demarcation of responsibility is very important for accountability purposes, for authority purposes. You cannot expect the MDC to be tasked with turning around the mess in Zimbabwe without being given authority.’

Speaking to ZimOnline on the same subject of the power-sharing talks, MDC-M secretary-general Welshman Ncube said that in their view the SADC recommendation that seeks to give all parties equal powers was fair.


If you exclude the leader of one of the parties from that completely, you are rendering whomsoever you have excluded ceremonial. That is why SADC found that the demands which are on the table (from Tsvangirai) are for a power transfer. And they were unable to endorse those. Which is why they endorsed what is on the table which is power sharing,’


Ncube said what the Tsvangirai MDC wanted was a process of power transfer on the basis of the March elections, and not a power-sharing government for the next five years.

 By Tichaona Sibanda

Post published in: News

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