HomeLocal NewsMugabe, PM in showdown

Mugabe, PM in showdown


President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai are today expected to hold an explosive meeting amid reports the Premier was seething with anger over leakages of confidential communication between them.

This follows the leakage and subsequent publication of a confidential letter by Tsvangirai to President Mugabe and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

The letter was published by the State-controlled Sunday Mail yesterday.

The meeting will be the first between the two protagonists this year, and is expected to deal with the leakages of confidential exchanges between the inclusive government principals, appointments of service chiefs, and reforming the security sector, among other contentious issues.

President Mugabe last week reportedly cancelled the National Security Council meeting after Tsvangirai did not turn up, protesting the composition of attendees.
Both Presidential spokesperson George Charamba and the Premiers spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed todays meeting.

Charamba said: I dont know whether it will go ahead or not because last week the Prime Minister was not feeling well, and that is why he did not attend Cabinet. Its a routine meeting so if he is available it can go ahead.

Tamborinyoka said his boss was available for the meeting, and it would go ahead. He also confirmed the leaked letter was authentic.

The principals are meeting tomorrow (today). Its a crunch meeting, because a lot of things have happened in between.

The discussion behind the leakages of confidential communications between the principals is a major cause for concern and will come up for discussion, said Tamborinyoka.

Tsvangirai, in his letter to President Mugabe, said the agenda for todays meeting should include: sanctions and measures, disruption of the PMs government programmes, arrest of MDC-T ministers, appointment and promotion of service chiefs and other security personnel, including that of Brigadier-General Douglas Nyikayaramba, media reforms and electoral reforms, among other issues.

The issue of Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuris employment status could also be discussed. Chihuris term of office expired last month while Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantine Chiwengas term ends this month.

In the letter, Tsvangirai complained his government programmes were being disrupted by public officials, including the police. He also accused Zanu PF officials of sabotaging most of his projects, including supervision of programmes such as Marange diamond mining.

Tsvangirai was last year barred from touring Chiadzwa diamond fields for a first-hand view of the goings-on at the site. Last October, police in Matabeleland North barred Tsvangirai from touring St Pauls Mission Hospital in Lupane and addressing a campaign rally in Victoria Falls.

This happens nowhere in the world where a Prime Minister is treated like a common criminal. May I implore you to instruct the police to respect members of the Executive in the discharge of their duties, Tsvangirai wrote.

In most cases the delegations of the Head of State would send emissaries to my office when my office is not briefed. I believe this matter needs to be regularised to avoid embarrassing our country.

This was in apparent reference to the recent visit by Equatorial Guinean President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Malawis Bingu wa Mutharika.

The two recently visited President Mugabe and Tsvangirai claims he was not consulted on both occasions.

My party and MDC-N agreed that there is need for ZEC (Zimbabwe Electoral Commision) to instill confidence in contesting political parties and the generality of the people of Zimbabwe by ensuring that the staffs who work for them are considered and viewed to be non-partisan.

My partys view is that considering that over the years the institution has been staffed by both serving and retired security personnel whose leaders have publicly declared their allegiance to your party, it is important that ZEC, because of the new order, is seen to act on this, he said.

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