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President, PM set for crunch meeting

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Principals to the Global Political Agreement President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara are expected to meet this afternoon for their routine Monday meetings to discuss, among other things, recent political developments in the country.

The three are expected to discuss the release of the draft constitution, the controversy surrounding the extension of travel restrictions on Mugabe and members of his inner circle by the European Union and Tsvangirai’s recent visit to Australia, Japan and New Zealand.

“It’s a routine meeting that takes place every Monday at 3 o’clock and I see nothing
stopping them from meeting. They are meeting tomorrow,” Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said yesterday. Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba was not immediately available for comment.

During his visit to Australia and New Zealand, Tsvangirai called for the total lifting of travel and trade embargoes imposed on Zanu PF leaders, saying Mugabe had reformed over the past three years they have been sharing power under a coalition government. “There is a paranoid obsession with Mugabe of yesterday and the Mugabe who was part of the three-and-a-half years of the coalition government,” he said.

“That is progressively — I think part of his pre-occupation with his legacy. And part of that legacy is to leave Zimbabwe in a stable and progressive future. ”

“Now (Peter) Hain ( the former British Cabinet minister who last week recommended the retention of the sanctions) may know the Mugabe of yesterday and I cannot defend Mugabe’s actions before the coalition government.

“I was part of that abuse. I was part of the State-sponsored violence. What we are saying is that the country must move forward and Zimbabweans would like to be given a chance to move forward.”

However, Mugabe fired a broadside at Tsvangirai, saying he would be “a fool” to accept Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s likening of him to African political icon Nelson Mandela.

“Some among us are siding with the whites. If you side with them and fail to realise you are being used, then you will be a fool. Some are told that you are a good leader, being equated to Mandela. You are being used to fight your people,” Mugabe said.

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