HomeLocal NewsStorm over Tsvangirai memo

Storm over Tsvangirai memo


Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s Office yesterday accused the State media of breaching the Official Secrets Act after it published a letter the MDC-T leader wrote to President Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai wrote to Mugabe calling on the principals in the inclusive government to address outstanding issues ahead of their meeting yesterday.

But the letter was published by the State-controlled Sunday Mail with the paper alleging that it was authored by Western “agents”.

Jameson Timba, the Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office, said although the correspondence was authentic, its publication was in breach of the Official Secrets Act and Cabinet rules.

“Indeed the letter in question was delivered to the President on Friday and such correspondence is governed by the Official Secrets Act and the rules of Cabinet, which means the only people who can publish it are the President and the Prime Minister,” he said.

“The publication of that memorandum was against the law and in conflict with known Cabinet

“If they were to publish that information, it would have been proper if they had waited for the President or the Prime Minister to make it public information.”

But Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba defended The Sunday Mail and accused officials from the PM’s Office of leaking the memorandum. He claimed the letter had not been delivered to Mugabe.

“Who breached the Official Secrets Act — is it the newspaper which published the document or the people who leaked it? In the first place, nothing came to the President and he did not receive anything from the PM.

“One cannot breach confidentiality on something that does not exist and, as things stand, there was no dispatch from the PM to the President,” Charamba said.

“The PM should be wary of his staff who are betraying his trust and confidentiality.”

Meanwhile, Mugabe and Tsvangirai met for an hour yesterday where they discussed a number of outstanding issues, including the contentious re-appointment of Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri.

Sources said the two met for close to an hour and resolved to meet again tomorrow this time with Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka and Charamba refused to give details about what the two principals discussed.

In his letter, Tsvangirai called for the creation of a conducive environment for free and fair elections because, according to him, the inclusive government had become dysfunctional.

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