PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe and two opposition leaders, Morgan Tsvangirai (MDC-T) and Joice Mujuru (Zimbabwe People First), are likely to miss Thursday’s proposed all-parties consultative meeting to debate the current national crisis and modalities of setting up the national transitional authority, amid indications the three politicians had other commitments.
BY RICHARD CHIDZA
The crunch indaba, organised by the Platform of Concerned Citizens (PCC), is scheduled to be held at Sapes Trust in Harare on Thursday.
Organisers of the meeting, Ibbo Mandaza and Tony Reeler, told NewsDay yesterday they had invited all political party leaders and civil society groups.
“Protocol dictates that we deal with parties and that is what we have done. I have been talking to (Zanu PF political commissar) Saviour Kasukuwere and he is yet to come back to us with a response,” Mandaza said.
“We have, however, received confirmation from (People’s Democtratic Party leader, Tendai) Biti, (Zapu leader, Dumiso) Dabengwa and (Mavambo/Kusile/Dawn leader, Simba) Makoni so far. Most of the opposition parties and civil society are on board. Even Tajamuka/Sesijikile leader, Promise Mkwananzi is likely to attend, that is if he gets bail in time.”
Kasukuwere was not available for comment yesterday, while ZimPF spokesperson, Jealousy Mawarire said Mujuru was yet to make a decision.
“We have just received the invitation and have not made a decision yet. We have a rally in South Africa at the weekend and I am not sure if she would have travelled or would still be around on Thursday,” he said.
Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka, said his boss was not likely to attend, as he would be undergoing chemotherapy treatment in South Africa.
“The president (Tsvangirai), unfortunately, will be receiving treatment at the same time, so he will not be attending. I am not sure though if he will assign someone to represent him,” he said.
Mandaza said the meeting seeks to canvass for Zimbabweans’ buy-in of the proposed national transitional authority.
“Our idea is to discuss the national crisis and propose the idea of a national transitional authority, not as a solution, but as an option that could be modified with input from all stakeholders,” he said.
Zimbabwe is in the throes of what could turn out to be an explosive crisis and in the past few weeks, Mugabe’s government has had to violently crush protests by opposition parties and civil society groups demanding him to step down.
But Mugabe has dug in and last week he threatened to use brute force to crush dissent.
The Harare indaba will be followed by a regional conference set for Johannesburg, South Africa, on September 27, to solicit for input from the Diaspora, the region and international community.