Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, angered by President Robert Mugabe’s continued flagrant violation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA), on Wednesday allegedly boycotted a Cabinet meeting and instead visited alleged victims of politically-motivated violence in Makoni South, Manicaland province.
Insiders on Thursday revealed the Prime Minister later travelled to Nyanga to attend a workshop.
The sources said Tsvangirai was unhappy with President Mugabe’s tendency to unilaterally change the days on which Cabinet sits to suit his own schedules.
Traditionally, Cabinet meetings are held on Tuesdays, but this week’s session was rescheduled to Wednesday because on the day the 86-year- old leader was away in Libya for the second Afro-Arab summit, returning later that evening.
Tsvangirai is understood to have snubbed the Cabinet meeting in protest and gone on unscheduled visits to Manicaland.
“Cabinet takes precedence over anything,” said one source.
“(But) Mugabe cannot unilaterally change the sitting day of Cabinet and expect everyone else to change their lives to suit his diary.
Tsvangirai will not do that.”
Repeated attempts to get comment from George Charamba, President Mugabe’s spokesperson, were fruitless.
Charamba, also Permanent Secretary for Information and Publicity, kept saying he was “in a meeting”.
Officials from the PM’s Office at Munhumutapa Building said Tsvangirai did not attend the Cabinet meeting because he had “prior engagements”.
Jameson Timba, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, defended his boss, saying:
“The Prime Minister did not attend Cabinet because he was busy attending to prior engagements.
“The Prime Minister had prior engagements on Wednesday, the day the Cabinet meeting was held.
The Prime Minister could not cancel the engagements for Cabinet,” Timba added.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, said the PM visited victims of violence in Makoni South before proceeding to Nyanga to attend a workshop.
“What is fact is that he did not attend Cabinet but he did not snub it,” Tamborinyoka said.
“He was attending a government workshop in Nyanga. On his way he passed through Makoni South to see victims of political violence.
“He saw people who were beaten up for giving their views during constitution-making outreach meetings.
People were being followed to their homes after making their contributions.”
Last week, Tsvangirai berated President Mugabe for flouting the GPA after he unilaterally re-appointed provincial governors and resident ministers without consulting other GPA principals.
Tsvangirai said his party did not recognise the appointments of the provincial governors and that of other key office-bearers who were appointed without consultation.
But Zanu PF has defended the appointments, saying they were in line with the country’s Constitution.