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Tsvangirai on diplomatic offensive

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Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai yesterday left the country to embark on a regional offensive aimed at putting pressure on President Robert Mugabe to implement key reforms ahead of harmonised elections later this year.

Report by Moses Matenga

Tsvangirai is likely to meet South African President Jacob Zuma and his Tanzanian and Mozambican counterparts Jakaya Kikwete and Armando Guebuza respectively, to brief them on the implementation of the Global Political Agreement (GPA).

In Namibia, the MDC-T leader is expected to meet Prime Minister Hage Geingob.

Zuma is the facilitator in the Sadc-sponsored GPA talks while Kikwete chairs the regional body’s Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka yesterday confirmed the PM’s regional trips, but refused to give details.

“The PM is leaving for the region to meet heads of State in Sadc and the AU (African Union),” he said.

“He will meet them to discuss the next elections as they are guarantors of the Global Political Agreement and they are trying to create a conducive environment for free and fair elections and make sure agreed reforms are implemented.”

But MDC leader Welshman Ncube yesterday dismissed Tsvangirai’s regional tour as “nonsensical”.

He said the MDC-T leader had squandered several “golden opportunities” to rein in Mugabe and there was no need for him to cry foul now.

“Sadc intervenes at our request. You (Tsvangirai) should not just run to Sadc,” Ncube said.

“Tsvangirai has been colluding with Mugabe in going against the GPA.

“They agreed for a July election and two weeks ago, he announced that they had tasked two ministers to come up with a roadmap.In the last few years, they have been focusing on stupid announcements.”

“So how do you run to Sadc yet you colluded with Mugabe in subverting the GPA? They sit with Mugabe every Monday, but all he did was to be cheated and dribbled by Mugabe.”

“What needed to be done is clear, the Mass Media Trust has to be reconstituted, the Broadcasting Authority of Zimbabwe board has to be reconstituted together with the ZBC board.”

“We said let’s confront security sector bias so that there is a paradigm shift and we have to do that collectively. All have not been done.”

“He (Tsvangirai) is basically again flip-flopping.”

“The good thing is that even some members in his party told him that his call for early polls together with Mugabe was not feasible because of the reforms that need to be done.”

Tsvangirai has in the past agreed with Mugabe that Ncube must not be allowed to sit in the Monday meetings of the GPA leaders that were meant to review implementation of the 2008 deal. Mugabe has stuck with Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara who lost the leadership of the MDC to Ncube in January 2011.

Observers say Tsvangirai’s latest diplomatic offensive might be a sign of serious disagreements with Mugabe.

The veteran ruler is resisting all the outstanding reforms proposed in the GPA, including those of the security sector.

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