Tsvangirai withdraws boycott on unity govt

Friday, November 6, 2009

Pretoria - Zimbabwe's opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai announced that his party would end its boycott of the country's unity deal and give President Robert Mugabe's party 30 days to fulfill its commitments under their power-sharing agreement.

The announcement came after the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Troika, which comprises Mozambique, Zambia and Switzerland, held talks here with Zimbabwe parties.

Speaking to reporters, Tsvangirai said he and his party would give Mugabe of the ZANU-PF party a period of one month to fully implement the power-sharing deal signed by the major political parties of Zimbabwe in September 2008.

"We have suspended our disengagement from the GPA (Global Political Agreement) with immediate effect and we will give President Robert Mugabe 30 days to implement the agreement on the pertinent issues we are concerned about."

He said his return to the cabinet would give the southern African group time to mediate

Tsvangirai suspended co-operation with President Robert Mugabe's Zanu-PF three weeks ago over a number of disputes. The MDC had been boycotting cabinet meetings but its ministers were continuing to run their departments.

The leaders urged Mugabe and Tsvangirai to resume their cooperation in the interest of the country.

The outstanding issues include the future of Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe governor Gideon Gono and Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, the appointment of provincial governors and the activation of the National Security Council.

Chairman of the SADC Troika and President of Mozambique Armando Guebuza said at the opening of the meeting that Zimbabweans can overcome their challenges.

Guebuza urged the leaders of Zimbabwe's three main political parties to capitalise on the points that unite them for the good of the people of the country and of the entire region.

"We would like to stress that the challenges are enormous, but they can be overcome," Guebuza said, expressing his hope that the summit could obtain from Zimbabwean leaders the undertakings to continue working together to overcome the present challenges for the national interest of the country in first place.

Guebuza said that everything should be done to maintain political stability for the continued inflow of foreign investment needed to continue the relaunching of economic activity.

He said he was optimistic because the SADC mission to Zimbabwe has found that there are more points of convergence than disagreement.

Also attending the summit was President Jacob Zuma, Zambian leader Rupiah Banda and Swaziland's King Mswati II.