Robert Mugabe’s government had failed to issue him with a new passport
MDC leader Tsvangirai back in Zimbabwe
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The leader of the main opposition political party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) arrived in Zimbabwe Saturday after close to three months holed up in neighbouring Botswana. Robert Mugabe’s government had failed to issue him with a new passport for a long time. Tsvangirai, however said he was given the passport on Christmas day after waiting for six months.
The MDC leader, who returned to Zimbabwe via South Africa for the first time since November 2008, is expected to meet with rival 84-year-old Mugabe Monday for a fresh round of talks to salvage the four- month power sharing agreement that is under threat from collapsing due to disagreements over equitable power sharing. The talks are to be mediated by South African President Kgalema Motlanthe, his predecessor Thabo Mbeki and Mozambican leader Armando Guebuza.
Tsvangirai told journalists that he was “glad” to be back in Zimbabwe and expressed hope that the new meeting will find a quick solution to Zimbabwe’s waning fortunes.
“I am glad to be back home.”
“I hope the meeting will find a lasting solution to the crisis in Zimbabwe.”
Tsvangirai, however said the MDC would not be “bulldozed into an agreement that would not meet the aspirations of the people of Zimbabwe.”
Recently Tsvangirai told journalists in Johannesburg, South Africa that he is committed to the power sharing deal but that he lacks “a willing partner” in Zanu PF’s Mugabe.
The political deal has been dithering on the brink of collapse after the MDC accused Zanu PF of “grabbing” all the most powerful ministries, including the contentious Home Affairs, which the two parties are supposed to co-share, but MDC argues they should have sole control of the ministry since the police who fall under it (ministry) have been heavy handed on their (MDC) supporters.
Since October last year, there have been a fresh wave of abductions and torture of both human rights and MDC activists by state security agents on allegations of training in acts of banditry to allegedly destabilize the government.
Monday’s meeting is seen by analysts as likely the last effort to save the power sharing agreement and push for the formation of an inclusive government.
In his statement in South Africa Thursday, Tsvangirai set out conditions that have to be met if the MDC is to join an inclusive government with Zanu PF. These are setting up National Security Council legislation; equitable allocation of ministries; consultative appointment of senior government officials; unconditional release of abducted MDC and human rights activists and the passing into law of constitutional amendment number 19, which sets the framework of the unity government.
It however is still to be seen if Mugabe will yield to these demands after indicating early this month he will go ahead with the formation of a new government by the end of February with or without Tsvangirai’s MDC.
The fresh talks come in the wake of an increase in deaths from cholera reported by the United Nations Friday now standing at 2, 225; the introduction of a higher denomination Z$100 trillion note—a sure sign of an incessant inflationary economic environment, and a food crisis among a host of other negative attributes of the once prosperous and esteemed Southern African nation.