photo by jon nicholson

news - Tsvangirai Asks for Regional Help in Zimbabwe Stand-Off

october 20th, 2009

"Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Tuesday appealed for regional help in his stand-off in Zimbabwe's unity pact, as his ministers boycotted a meeting with President Robert Mugabe.

Tsvangirai's ministers met separately in Harare as Mugabe chaired the weekly cabinet session without his ZANU-PF party's main government partners.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader flew to Mozambique Tuesday to ask southern African leaders to step in, after he cut ties with Mugabe's 'dishonest and unreliable' camp four days ago.

'The prime minister came to ask for (the Southern African Development Community) SADC's intervention,' spokeswoman for Mozambican leader Armando Guebuza, Marlene Magaia, told AFP after the two leaders held talks.

'President Guebuza is head of the SADC defence and security body, and (Tsvangirai) is not very happy with the current situation in Zimbabwe, so he came to request the intervention of this body.'

Tsvangirai was set to return to South Africa from Mozambique with plans to also meet Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila, chairman of SADC, and Angola's President Jose Eduardo dos Santos.

President Jacob Zuma's office has yet to receive an official request to meet the South African leader, a spokesman said late Tuesday.

'Their request for a meeting will be considered if they request it,' Zuma's spokesman said.

Speaking in Johannesburg, Zimbabwean minister of state in Tsvangirai's office Gorden Moyo said the MDC will not quit the unity partnership of eight months which was brokered through SADC mediation.

'We can't pull out of ourselves. We won the elections,' Moyo said, referring to last year's disputed polls that plunged the country into deeper chaos.

'We want to put pressure on ZANU-PF' by withdrawing from the cabinet meeting, he said."

MORE: "Tsvangirai asks for regional help in Zimbabwe stand-off" (AFP)


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