Tsvangirai might return home early to face Mugabe

2009-10-22 10:43

Estranged Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai might go back

home earlier than expected to face President Robert Mugabe as domestic efforts

to save the coalition government from collapse gather momentum.

Minister of Industry and Commerce Welshman Ncube hinted yesterday

at Tsvangirai’s possible return “in the next two to three days” to meet with his

inclusive government principals Mugabe and Professor Arthur Mutambara.

Ncube who is secretary general of Mutambara’s splinter faction of

the MDC was addressing industrialists in Harare yesterday at the launch of a

survey of the state of the manufacturing sector.

“No one is comfortable with events of the past week and the crisis

that the country has fallen into. There has, however, been a lot of work being

done within Zimbabwe’s borders to save this government from collapse.

“I am happy to say that in the last 48 hours the political leaders

of the three main political parties have resolved that they need to holistically

look at the issues that have led to the current situation as a matter of

urgency,” said Ncube.

Tsvangirai has withdrawn his party from cabinet and council of

ministers business and has severed all ties with Mugabe’s Zanu-PF in protest

over the latter’s “dishonesty and unreliability”.

He is on a regional diplomatic offensive to appeal for intervention

from leaders of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) who are

guarantors of the contentious Global Political Agreement (GPA).

He was expected to meet with Presidents Jacob Zuma; Eduardo do

Santos of Angola; Armando Guebuza, of Mozambique; and Joseph Kabila of the

Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) before returning to Zimbabwe next


Ncube, however, said the MDC leader could be back as early as this


“We hope that in the next two to three days there will be a meeting

of the three leaders to discuss those issues.”

The latest standoff represents the biggest threat of a potential

crisis Zimbabwe’s fragile transitional coalition has encountered in the eight

months of its existence.

Mutambara met with Mugabe over the Tsvangirai boycott on Monday and

also had a “brief chat” with the president over the same issue after the cabinet

meeting boycotted by Tsvangirai Tuesday.

Confirmation of Tsvangirai’s anticipated early return could not be

obtained from his party as spokesperson Nelson Chamisa could not be


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