Zanu PF ministers boycott Tsvangirai meeting
|ZANU PF ministers boycotted a meeting called by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Tuesday, accusing the MDC-T leader of trying to chair cabinet in the absence of President Robert Mugabe.
Mugabe left the country for Singapore over the weekend on a private visit to arrange post-graduate studies for his daughter, Bona.
Cabinet meets on Tuesday but never in the absence of Mugabe, a situation that does not sit easy with Tsvangirai who feels he is an equal partner in the coalition government and should run the country when the President is away.
According to officials the MDC-T leader called a meeting Tuesday to discuss the country’s economic empowerment programme which was aimed at coming up with come up with “a common Government perspective with regards to the implementation of the Policy.”
However, Zanu PF ministers failed to turn up.
“There was a strong sense against the meeting that the Prime Minister wanted to convene a mini-Cabinet meeting,” the Herald newspaper reported Wednesday.
“Zanu PF ministers questioned why PM Tsvangirai moved the meeting a day before condemning the same policy.
“They felt there was no need to call for the meeting when he (Tsvangirai) had pre-empted the meeting hence there was nothing to discuss.”
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said the meeting had been proposed by empowerment minister Saviour Kasukuwere, who is from Zanu PF.
But Kasukuwere said he had since advised the premier that the meeting was no longer necessary.
Said Kasukuwere: “I had said there would not be such a meeting (so) why would Ian Makone (secretary in the Prime Minister’s office) go on and call for the meeting?
“Why did they choose a day when the President is away to convene a meeting on Tuesday?
“Why are they complaining that the meeting did not go ahead when I said it was not necessary?”
Mugabe and Tsvangirai concede that the coalition government – formed following violent and inconclusive elections in 2008 – is no longer workable due to policy and other differences between the parties.
However they disagree on the way forward.
Tsvangirai wants political reforms – including a new constitution – completed before new elections can be held to ensure the ballot is free and fair.
But Mugabe, apparently frustrated by delays in the constitutional reforms, has threatened to name a new election date in May claiming free and fair elections are possible under the current constitution.
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