Mugabe blocks negotiations, MDC labelled ‘treacherous’

2010-01-28 12:20

Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe has instructed his negotiators

working on the Global Political Agreement (GPA) to stop making any concessions

in the negotiations until Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai causes Western

sanctions to be removed.

Mugabe said this when he chaired a meeting of his party’s supreme

governing body, the politburo, on Wednesday.

Hordes of journalists had gathered at the Zanu-PF headquarters

after party officials had sent word that the 86-year-old leader would personally

address a press conference.

But Mugabe, who emerged from the meeting looking tired and frail,

simply told the journalists that had mobbed him that he would announce a new

politburo in two weeks.

“This was our first politburo meeting of the year which was meant

to ginger up and dynamise the party. The coming incumbents will, of course,

comprise elements carried forward from the same old bald-heads but there will be

some new people as well.”

He referred proceedings of the six-hour meeting of the politburo to

Ephraim Masawi, the party deputy secretary for information and publicity, who

later issued a statement.

The statement blasted Tsvangirai as “treacherous” and called his

party “a tool of the British and Western imperialism” whose role in the “evil

saga of illegal sanctions now stands exposed for all to see”.

Mugabe and his party decided to literally kill the on-going

negotiations blocking any concessions by his negotiators and emphasizing there

would be no going back on the controversial appointments of Reserve Bank

governor Gideon Gono, Attorney-General Johannes Tomana and also provincial


Zanu-PF’s latest GPA intransigence, which poses yet another serious

threat to Zimbabwe’s inclusive government, comes in the wake of statements last

week by British foreign secretary David Miliband that Britain and the European

Union would only remove restrictions on the advice of Tsvangirai’s MDC


The MDC has, however, said Miliband’s statements were informed by

Britain’s acknowledgement of Tsvangirai as “the voice of conscience in Zimbabwe”

and also of the prime minister’s integrity in the inclusive government.

The party insists Mugabe and his party had invited the restrictive

measures upon themselves because of their rotten human rights record and

therefore had the responsibility to get these measures removed by implementing

reforms already agreed in the GPA.

But Mugabe’s politburo said: “The recent revelations by the British

Foreign Secretary David Miliband, in the House of Commons exposing the

treacherous role of the MDC-T in the initiation and drafting of the illegal

sanctions against the people of Zimbabwe once again confirms our conviction that

the MDC-T is a tool of the British and Western imperialism ready to destroy the

national economy, hopes and lives of our people in the service of their western


MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said on Thursday morning that the

move by Zanu-PF was irresponsible and could easily throw the country back into

the doldrums of the pre-inclusive era.

“Are they declaring a deadlock? Are they saying the GPA is now

dead? Are they saying the inclusive government should come to an end? Are they

directly provoking us into another disengagement?” asked Chamisa who said his

party would announce its position on the issue “soon”.

The MDC last year disengaged from the inclusive government

following what they described as insincerity and dishonesty by its Zanu-PF

counterparts in the coalition.

Tsvangirai has left Zimbabwe to attend the World Economic Forum

from which Mugabe was conspicuously snubbed.

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