Morgan Tsvangirai, Zimbabwe’s prime minister and leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), has announced its decision to boycott the country’s unity cabinet. (photo, from aljazeera.net)
Although Robert Mugabe, the country’s president, has criticised the party of his estranges coalition partner, he said on Saturday that he remains committed to working with Tsvangirai’s MDC despite the boycott.
However the president called on the MDC to honour the power-sharing agreement it entered with Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party last year in a bid to end political violence.
Earlier this month, Tsvangirai announced the boycott, accusing Mugabe of refusing to fully implement the power-sharing agreement.
At the funeral of one of his party’s senate members, Mugabe said the MDC has “one leg in, and one leg out” of the government.
“The requirement is that we indeed continue step-by-step to move together and whatever are the difficulties, become our difficulties together,” he said.
“For one party … to decide ‘We shall not be fully in the process’ … then you begin to wonder whether you went into the agreement with persons who actually appreciated what going into an agreement means.”
State media also reported on Saturday that Mugabe called the MDC leader “dishonest”.
“They can never be true and genuine partners and they have proved to be dishonest,” he said.
“We, however, want to assure you that we will not allow the situation to continue like that.”
In the same time as Mugabe’s comments, negotiators from the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) proposed an emergency summit to resolve the crisis.
Sadc is a 15-member bloc that has been involved in a search for a solution to Zimbabwe’s governance problems.
Over the past two days, ministers from Mozambique, Swaziland and Zambia, support staff from the Sadc secretariat and representatives of Thabo Mbeki, a Sadc mediator and former South African president, have been meeting Zimbabwean officials.
Even though it was not immediately clear how the negotiations progressed, analysts said there were slim chances of a breakthrough because the Zanu-PF and the MDC remain at loggerheads over some aspects of their power-sharing pact.
The MDC says Zanu-PF has blocked the swearing-in of some of its officials.
The power-sharing deal between Zanu-PF and MDC was signed in September last year, following a crisis after disputed elections and political violence.