PM, MDC-T minister clash

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Constitution and Parliamentary Affairs minister Eric Matinenga has clashed with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai for reportedly contradicting the party position by suggesting another government of national unity may be in the offing after the next election.

Matinengas utterances made at a discussion forum under the theme Refining the Justice System in Zimbabwe, Lessons from Kenya, organised by the United States embassy last week were in contradiction of the MDC-Ts position on the marriage of convenience with Zanu PF and the smaller MDC.

The MDC-T maintains there would be no repeat of the transitional arrangement.

The minister said: It is not a nice picture to look at. Zimbabwe is heading into another unity government after the next elections.

The lawyer-cum-politician cited what he saw as President Robert Mugabes reluctance to relinquish power in the event of defeat and military dominance in State institutions as the reasons why Zanu PF would refuse to be pushed out.

But Tsvangirai, through his party spokesperson Douglas Mwonzora, yesterday said there would be no other dance with the former ruling party in a coalition government.

The MDC-T is fighting for the Zimbabwean people to have an option to choose a government of their choice.

We have noticed that the GNU has been rendered dysfunctional by the intransigence of President Mugabe and Zanu PF, Mwonzora said.

He said the MDC-Ts focus was to ensure an even playing field ahead of the next elections, which had to be winner-takes- all, and his party was willing to accept defeat if the polls were free and fair.

The MDC is pressing for the necessary reforms which guarantee free and fair elections before polls are held and these include the constitution-making process, security sector reform and an end to all State-sponsored violence.

We also need Zec (Zimbabwe Electoral Commission) secretariat realignment, the MDC-T spokesperson said.

Elections remain doubtful this year as a number of necessary reforms are yet to be implemented.
The constitution-making process is at a crossroads, following Zanu PFs accusations that the drafters were operating outside their mandate.

Late last year, MDC-T political rallies were banned by police, culminating in clashes in places such as Chitungwiza, Hatcliffe and Nkayi, among others.