Zimbabwe: Tsvangirai meets Zuma as all levers of state power shift to Mugabe

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Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is in South Africa for crucial talks with President Jacob Zuma about widening cracks in Zimbabwe’s inclusive government, headed by ageing President Robert Mugabe.

Tensions between Tsvangirai’s MDC and Mugabe’s Zanu-PF have hit breaking point over control of the security forces, including key appointments such as the Reserve Bank governor and the attorney-general.

Mugabe has made it clear that he will not reverse the appointments of Gideon Gono and Johannes Tomana as the Reserve Bank governor and attorney-general, respectively.

According to the MDC, all levers of state power have completely shifted into Mugabe’s hands while security chiefs also refuse to recognise Tsvangirai’s authority.

Tsvangirai’s spokesman, James Maridadi said the meeting will deal with sticky issues of the unity government such as the appointments of the Reserve Bank governor and attorney-general.

“He will further brief President Zuma on the state of the nation – the economy, health matters and other socioeconomic issues affecting Zimbabweans.”

The meeting between Tsvangirai and Zuma comes as tensions continue to
grow between the MDC and Zanu-PF in Zimbabwe.

Last Monday Zimbabwe’s minister of finance, Tendai Biti, received a letter with a bullet inside after he presented his mid-term fiscal policy in which he emphasised the need for officials to reduce their expenditure.

The next day another senior MDC official, deputy minister for youth affairs Thamsanqa Mahlangu, was arrested for allegedly stealing a cellphone – a charge dismissed by the MDC as a set-up.

On Friday another MDC legislator was arrested for allegedly playing a song that denigrates Mugabe, on his car radio.

The MDC said in a statement that Stewart Garadhi, the MP for Chinhoyi, was driving from Harare to Chinhoyi on Friday morning when he was stopped by police officers ‘who accused him of playing a song saying it denigrated Mugabe.

It is not clear how the police heard the song if the MP had been driving at the time. Said one Harare resident “Were they in the car, or do they have
fantastically large ears that can hear a song from a distance? It sounds like a case of the long ear of the law!”

Several people including members of the general public have been arrested under the country’s harsh security laws for ‘making utterances likely to cause hatred, contempt or ridicule of the President and his Office.’

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