Accessibility links

Breaking News

Zimbabwe's Tsvangirai to Meet South Africa's Zuma on Unity Government Breaches

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office and independent monitors are accusing President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF Party loyalists of hundreds of breaches of the political agreement that led to Zimbabwe's inclusive government. The breaches are said to include the expulsion of several Movement for Democratic Change legislators from parliament.

Officials from Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office say he is to meet Saturday with South African President Jacob Zuma, the chairman of the Southern Africa Development Community. Mr. Tsvangirai is to present Mr. Zuma a list of 700 documented breaches of the political agreement negotiated between the Movement for Democratic Change and ZANU-PF last September.

The Southern Africa Development Community and the African Union are guarantors of Zimbabwe's government of national unity.

Independent monitors say President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF has been more in breach than compliance with the political agreement.

Zimbabwe's media monitoring project publishes lists of ZANU-PF media offenses, in weekly reports. For example, the project reports state-controlled media - including radio, television and the only daily newspaper - refer to Mr. Mugabe as head of state and head of government. This is in conflict with the agreement that stipulates Mr. Tsvangirai is head of government.

In addition, the MDC says scores of party legislators, students, activists, lawyers and ordinary party members have been arrested or are missing.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change holds a slim majority in Zimbabwe's parliament, but some MDC parliament members are awaiting trial or have been convicted of crimes and have been suspended from parliament. The MDC says the charges against the parliament members are politically motivated.

Two MDC legislators were refused entry to parliament by senior ZANU-PF civil servants last week. Three others were also sentenced for longer than six months and expect to be refused entry.

Education Minister David Coltart told VOA there is zero compliance by ZANU-PF with the spirit of the political agreement.

Thabitha Khumalo is a member of the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee tasked to help keep Zimbabwe's political agreement on track. She says the committee seldom meets and is "useless."

Political analysts say Mr. Mugabe's only legitimacy as head of state comes through the unity government, because he received far less votes than Mr. Tsvangirai in the first round of last year's presidential election. Political violence drove Mr. Tsvangirai to withdraw from the run-off, in which Mr. Mugabe was the only contestant.