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Zimbabwe's ex-opposition mulls break with gov't

Zimbabwe's ex-opposition mulls break with gov't

Zimbabwe's former opposition party said Monday it would boycott the next Cabinet meeting and is considering disengaging from a troubled, four-month-old unity government with President Robert Mugabe.
The Movement for Democratic Change has complained about continued harassment of Mugabe's opponents and disputes over his unilateral appointments of top officials.
Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, bitter rivals, formed their coalition in February, pressed by neighbors to end a decade of violent political confrontation and cooperate to address their country's economic crisis.
MDC Vice President Thokozani Khupe said the latest irritant came Monday, when Mugabe rescheduled the weekly Cabinet meeting from Wednesday to Monday because he was going to be out of town. At a news conference, Khupe depicted that as a snub to Tsvangirai, her party's leader, saying he should have chaired the meeting in Mugabe's absence.
Mugabe's party "has not welcomed MDC as an equal partner," said Khupe, a deputy prime minister in the unity government.
Khupe said her party would boycott the rescheduled Cabinet meeting, but remained "committed to the (coalition) agreement in the interest of our people."
She did not, though, say when MDC ministers would resume attending Cabinet meetings.
"It is our constitutional right to consider disengagement," she said. "It is time toxicity and insanity are removed (from the coalition)."
Tsvangirai was returning Monday from a tour of the West that has focused new attention on tensions between the unity government.
Mugabe is barred by U.N. travel restrictions from visiting the countries on Tsvangirai's itinerary, and the leaders with whom the premier had cordial talks _ among them President Barack Obama _ accuse Mugabe of trampling on democracy and ruining a once-vibrant economy.
Zimbabwe's state-run Herald newspaper has reported that some officials aligned to Mugabe were worried about Obama's reference to building a new partnership not with the coalition government, but with Tsvangirai, a former opposition leader who has been beaten and jailed by Mugabe's regime.
Tsvangirai says his three-week trip was aimed at re-engaging with the West, while officials linked to Mugabe have tried to portray it as an attempt to persuade the international community to lift sanctions.
In an interview Friday with The Associated Press, Zimbabwe's Vice President Joice Mujuru, a Mugabe loyalist, expressed frustration that Tsvangirai's European and U.S. trip didn't raise as much financial aid as her government had hoped.


Updated : 2021-02-26 15:51 GMT+08:00