Tsvangirai tightens screws

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is on a whirlwind tour of the region where he is expected to urge leaders to lean on President Robert Mugabe at next week’s Sadc summit in Mozambique to allow for reforms.

Sadc Heads of State and Government would meet in Maputo between August 17 and 18 for their annual summit where regional hotspots that include Zimbabwe are likely to top the agenda.

Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of reneging on commitments he made in the Global Political Agreement (GPA) ahead of elections next year.

The summit would also come at a time when Zanu PF is being accused of stalling the constitution-making process, which is a key result area for the GPA partners.

Tsvangirai left the country on Tuesday and yesterday was expected to hold a meeting with Mozambican President Armando Guebuza before proceeding to Tanzania to meet President Jakaya Kikwete.

Guebuza is the incoming Sadc chairperson, taking over from Angolan President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka confirmed that the PM was visiting the two countries, but declined to divulge reasons for the trip.

But sources confirmed the trip was aimed at achieving the same results as the last Sadc emergency summit in Luanda, Angola, where regional leaders rejected Mugabe’s plans to hold elections this year with or without agreed reforms.

The June emergency summit came as a blow to the veteran ruler who was desperate to have the general elections held this year.

Tsvangirai had sent envoys to regional leaders prior to the summit to convince them that Zimbabwe was not ready for an election.

The Zanu PF politburo was still locked in a meeting last night amid indications that hawks who want the draft constitution rejected outrightly would prevail.

The move would put Mugabe under pressure at the summit to prove that his party is not bent on undermining the reforms.

The MDC-T and MDC have already endorsed the draft constitution.

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