SADC to convene summit on Zim: Tsvangirai

tsvangirai_morganHARARE Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai last Friday said the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will convene an extraordinary summit to try to resolve a power-sharing dispute between the MDC party leader and his coalition partner President Robert Mugabe. (Pictured: PM Tsvangirai)


I have been advised that the SADC Troika will recommend the convening of an extraordinary SADC summit to deal with the matter, Tsvangirai told reporters after his meeting with a SADC security organ ministerial team currently reviewing implementation of Zimbabwes fragile power-sharing agreement

The SADC Troika review mission jetted into the country following Tsvangirais decision two weeks ago to partially disengage his MDC party from the coalition government in protest against Mugabes failure to fully implement a power-sharing pact Global Political Agreement (GPA) that established the coalition government last February.

The disengagement that has seen the former opposition party boycott two successive weekly Cabinet meetings has paralysed government operations and threatens to collapse the eight-month-old coalition administration.

The Troika does not solve anything. Its mandate is to gather information and make recommendations, Tsvangirai said, adding; We have to find a solution to this crisis so that we could get on with the work of making the inclusive government work again.

The Troika mission to Harare, which was led by Mozambiques Foreign Affairs Minister Oldemiro Baloi, included Zambian Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister Fashion Phiri and Swazi Foreign Affairs Minister Lutho Dhlamini.

SADC executive secretary Tomaz Salamao and South African facilitators to the dialogue that led to the formation of the inclusive government, Frank Chikane and Monjaku Gumbi, were also part of the review team.

Mugabe, Zimbabwes sole ruler since the countrys independence from Britain in 1980 and former opposition leader Tsvangirai remain deadlocked over key appointments while the MDC also accuses Zanu (PF) of engaging in a campaign to persecute its supporters.

At least 17 MDC legislators have been arrested since the beginning of the year on charges ranging from theft and public violence to rape and playing music that denigrates Mugabe.

Zanu (PF) accuses the MDC of reneging on a promise to push for the removal of travel bans and an asset freeze slapped by the West on its senior officials.

Analysts say neither Mugabe nor Tsvangirai wants to see the coalition government collapse because both stand to benefit from its continued existence. However, they warn that the incessant squabbles between the two could in the long-run cripple the administration and render it ineffective.

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