Mutumbara supports MDC's partial withdrawal

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Harare - Zimbabwe Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara says his party supports the decision taken by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of the Movement for Democracy Change (MDC-T) to disengage from Cabinet.

However, Mutambara said on Monday he would continue to attend Cabinet meetings to prevent the Zanu-PF party led by President Robert Mugabe from passing unsound policies.

He said his party would try to bring President Mugabe and Prime Minister Tsvangirai to the negotiating table to come up with a workable solution to save the inclusive government from collapse.

"We understand why they (MDC-T) are upset," Mutambara said.

"As a party, we are equally upset and disgusted. But we hold the balance of power in the inclusive government and we are going to make sure we promote dialogue between the three parties."

Mutambara, who has accused the Zanu-PF party of deliberately refusing to fulfill provisions of the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed by the three parties last year, said he had met Tsvangirai on the issue and was due to meet Mugabe.

He said Mugabe needed to appreciate that he could not govern the country alone, neither could any one of the parties in the inclusive government.

"We need to maintain the threesome in the government. None of us can run the country on our own," he said.

Mutambara said his party would soon convene a national council meeting to decide on the course of action to take, adding the party would not hesitate to pull out of Cabinet if the council said so.

He said the incarceration last week of MDC-T treasurer Roy Bennett was uncalled for and provocative, adding a better way of handling the case could have been pursued, including tightening bail conditions.

He dismissed the argument by the Zanu-PF that all the outstanding issues being referred to by the MDC-T and MDC-M are not part of the GPA.

He said the issues had to be resolved as they were included in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) communiqu, of 27 January that gave birth to the inclusive government.

"Without the communiqu, we could not have formed a government in this country," he said.

The inclusive government has brought political and economic stability in the country, hence should not be left to collapse, Mutambara added.

The formation of the inclusive government in February this year had raised hope for many people, resulting in the availability of basic commodities on the market and renewing confidence in the country's economic performance.

Tsvangirai told a press conference at his party's headquarters on Friday that ministers from his party would no longer participate in Cabinet and Council of Ministers meetings until all outstanding issues in the GPA were resolved.