Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has told his supporters that since entering into a coalition government with President Mugabe’s Zanu PF, the Movement for Democratic Change is suffering an identity crisis.
According to him political persecution of his supporters had not halted and the people were still living in hunger and fear. “The crisis we face is a crisis of identity. It is half a donkey and half a horse. It is a mule,” he said at the weekend during his party’s annual general conference.
He added “Our confusion arises from the fact that being in government does not necessarily mean we are the government. Being in government does not necessarily mean that we have the liberty… to make the decisions you want,”
Mugabe and Tsvangirai formed a coalition government in February to try to end the country’s decade-long economic nosedive, but the government has been dogged by disagreements.
Tsvangirai accuses Mugabe of acting unilaterally in appointing senior government officials such as the central bank boss and the attorney-general.
While they have resolved some of their disputes, Mugabe is refusing to recall his choice of controversial central banker, Gideon Gono – known for his penchant for printing money to cover spending by Mugabe’s party.
The matter has since been referred to the Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders who brokered the power sharing deal.
While failing to attract much donor funding, the new MDC-led finance ministry has reined in hyperinflation and eased food shortages. On persecutions he said, “In addition, despite our party being committed to restoring the rule of law, our members continue to be victims of political persecution,”
Eighteen rights and opposition activists accused of seeking to overthrow Mugabe were recently re-arrested after their case was referred to the high court for trial.
Tsvangirai said there were limitations to what he could do as prime minister in the coalition government that has led to an uneasy sharing of power between the two former arch-rivals.
“We have to recognise the limitations of a coalition government. We are in a coalition with (Mugabe’s) Zanu-PF,” he said. “The MDC is in government but we are not the government.