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MDC Chides Mugabe’s Spokesman


Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) is displeased with a statement suggesting that President Robert Mugabe is "too busy" to resolve deep rifts within the unity government.

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President Mugabe's spokesman George Charamba told the state run newspaper Sunday Mail that Mugabe is too busy with students and soccer to address the crisis in the unity government.

The comments follows Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's announcement Friday that the MDC is withdrawing from the coalition government until several disputes with ZANU-PF are resolved.

But Charamba said that a cabinet meeting scheduled for Tuesday would go ahead as planned despite the MDC's threat.

MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa said that his party is disappointed in Charamba's pronouncement.

"Clearly they are busy with soccer. It explains why we are in this crisis, because there seems to be a preoccupation with things that are not quite important and that are not a priority," Chamisa said.

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He said his party has deep concerns about the unity government.

"It's clear that the current government is not working …Possibly, we have the wrong men in office doing the wrong thing, and this is why when confronted with such an important issue to deal with the outstanding issues pertaining to the Global Political Agreement, they will give you the sort of responses that are not only lost but also mischievous," he said.

Chamisa dismissed what he said is ZANU-PF's lip service.

"That is obviously propaganda, and you know that propaganda does not work on facts. It works on fiction. It is clear that it is ZANU-PF that has reneged on the fundamental outstanding issues around governance (and) around ambassadors," Chamisa said.

He said the ZANU-PF has not shared the MDC's sincerity towards the unity government.

"There is a litany, a catalogue of a manifestation of a deficit of sincerity on the part of the ZANU-PF, and that is beyond contestation. We have given our best in terms of sincerity in terms of commitment we want to make sure that the outstanding issues are resolved," he said.

Chamisa said there is need for international intervention over the ongoing disagreement in the unity government.

"We want to make sure that these issues are taken to SADC (Southern African Development Community) and the AU (African Union) as the guarantors of the Global Political Agreement so that they adjudicate on these outstanding issues," Chamisa said.

He said the MDC is not to blame for internationally imposed sanctions.

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"Restricted measures were never caused… by the MDC, and it was clearly as a matter of the rupture and breakdown of relations between ZANU-PF and those who imposed the sanctions," he said.

Chamisa said his party would only help if the ZANU-PF shows commitment towards the unity government.

"We are able to help ZANU-PF if ZANU-PF (is) willing to speak with one voice on matters of the rule of law (and) on democratization. We need to make sure that we correct them within our borders. Once we have done that, we will then be able to try and convince those who imposed those restrictions," Chamisa said.

Meanwhile, U.S State Department spokesman Ian Kelly said Friday that Washington understands "the frustration" of Tsvangirai's MDC party, and calls on President Mugabe to make the power-sharing agreement work.

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