Zimbabwe: ‘Up to SADC to rescue the situation’

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Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai left the country Monday on a
mini but crucial regional tour to brief African leaders on fresh political crisis in his home country.

Tsvangirai, on Friday announced that his MDC party had cut all cooperation with his long time political foe President Mugabe. He is scheduled to hold talks with South African leader Jacob Zuma before meeting DR Congo President Joseph Kabila, current chairman of 15-nation Southern African Development Community (SADC) and later see Mozambican President, Armando Guebuza.

Said the premiers spokesperson James Maridadi, “He would brief the leaders on the current precarious political situation in the country and explain the Friday decision to disengage from government”. According to Maridadi it is “up to SADC to rescue the situation,”

Tsvangirai also plans to travel to Angola.

Neighbouring countries in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC), led by South Africa, brokered the deal, but it has been plagued by problems since its inception. The Friday pull-out was sparked by the renewed detention of Roy Bennett which led to Tsvangirai describing the relationship with Mugabe as “dishonest and unreliable”.

Bennett, a former coffee farmer, whose trial date for has been set for November 9 is facing highly-controversial charges that date back to an alleged coup plot in 2006. Bennett has been charged with possession of arms for purposes of committing terrorism, which carries a possible death penalty.

Local political commentators say Tsvangirai’s stance to boycott the unity government was meant to pressure regional leaders to lean on Mugabe to deliver on his promise to share power with his former opposition foes.

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