Mugabe convenes Cabinet despite MDC boycott

2009-10-21 08:24

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe convened a Cabinet meeting yesterday in the

absence of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his entire team who have

boycotted association with Zanu PF until further notice.

Leader of the smaller faction of the former opposition Movement for

Democratic Change (MDC) party Professor Arthur Mutambara attended the


We were unable to obtain information on what was discussed at the

meeting but a source from Mutambara’s office said the meeting which kicked-off

at 9am did not make “any crucial resolutions” and that a lot of time was spent

discussing Tsvangirai’s absence.

“The Zanu PF camp sought to have action taken against Tsvangirai

and his ministers for failing to attend the important meeting without prior

formal notice and proper excuse from the secretary of the president and cabinet.

“Professor Mutambara, however, argued that the President and the

rest of cabinet should appreciate that there was a governance crisis and that

the problem should not be downplayed. From what we get, no major decisions were

made today,” said the source, requesting to remain anonymous.

Mutambara said on Monday that his party appreciated and supported

the decision by Tsvangirai to disengage from Zanu PF but had resolved not to

join in the boycott as a way of stopping Mugabe from having a free reign in


He said his party would act as the “voice of reason” in trying to

get Mugabe and Tsvangirai back to the table for the sake of the country. He said

he would not let Mugabe take his arrogant ‘go-it-alone’ attitude.

“How can Mugabe run this country alone? If this Global Political

Agreement is to collapse, I would say to Robert Mugabe ‘you are not the

President of Zimbabwe. You are an illegitimate leader!” Mutambara said.

Deputy secretary-general of his party Priscilla

Misiharirambwi-Mushonga who is also Minister of Regional Integration and

International Cooperation said from London on Monday that her party’s decision

to remain engaged with Mugabe had not been taken lightly.

“We sympathise with our colleagues (Tsvangirai’s MDC) but we also

recognise that not attending (the cabinet meeting) has the effect of escalating

the crisis.

“Zanu PF can sit together in cabinet and make emotional decisions

which are binding on all of us, and we want to ensure this doesn’t happen, and

everyone calms down for the good of the country,” the minister is quoted


Mugabe’s spokesperson George Charamba who described Tsvangirai’s

revolt as ‘a non-event’ and ‘monkey business’ said Mugabe would not recognize

Tsvangirai’s disengagement until formal communication was made.

“Until the communication is done formally the president has no

reason or any grounds to think or know otherwise,” Charamba told the State-owned

Herald newspaper yesterday.

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