SADC to Meet Zimbabwe President, Prime Minister
SADC to Meet Zimbabwe President, Prime Minister

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) is scheduled to hold discussions with Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai Thursday.

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SADC is on a fact finding mission to ascertain the causes of the deepening political rift in the unity government.

Prime Minister Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change "disengaged" from the unity government after accusing Mugabe's ZANU-PF of persecuting its members. 

Foreign ministers from Zambia, Angola and Mozambique representing the SADC Troika will present a report to the regional body after the discussions. 

Gordon Moyo, a minister of state in Prime Minister Tsvangirai's office said that there is need to address MDC's concerns in the government.

"This is a fact finding mission. They are not here to carry out negotiations. They are here to find out how the Global Political Agreement (GPA) is being implemented so far and also to attend to the crisis that has arisen within the inclusive government," Moyo said.

He said both ZANU-PF and the MDC will have to lay their cards on the table.

"So we expect the political parties into the inclusive government are going to table their issues," he said.

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Moyo said the MDC has concerns that need to be addressed.

"From the prime minister's office perspective, there are a number of critical issues such as the outstanding matters of the GPA, the SADC (Southern African Development Community communiqué of 27th January 2009 as well as the issues of compliance where we believe there is non-compliance by some elements within government," Moyo said.

He described the current cabinet as deficient.

"Our disengagement means that the inclusive government is incomplete. The cabinet that they are holding is not a full cabinet. In fact it is a cabinet caucus because cabinet in Zimbabwe is made up of three political entities and the absence of one of the political entities renders the cabinet incomplete," he said.

Moyo said the MDC is only interested in the implementation of the GPA.

"We are not asking for renegotiations we are not asking for an opening of negotiations at all. What we are saying is let's implement what we agreed and that has not been done," Moyo said.

He said the ZANU-PF is unwilling to implement the agreement.

"In fact just a cursory check of the items of the GPA you would realize that out of the 34 key items of the GPA only four had been fully implemented, 13 partially implemented (and) 17 not done at all," he said.

Meanwhile, the unity government is sharply divided over the invitation of a special United Nations envoy rapporteur on torture. Manfred Nowak was reportedly stopped by Zimbabwe immigration officials despite being invited by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

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The coalition government reportedly withdrew Nowak's invitation for his eight-day mission, amid a renewed political crisis in the unity government.

Moyo said the controversy is due to the lack of togetherness within the government.

"That's reflective of the challenges of the inclusive government that we are not working as a team. To us the coming of the UN envoy to carry out an investigation is a sign that we are now an open society as a country. stop such kind of an investigation takes us back to the period where there was just a Mugabe administration," Moyo said.

President Mugabe's ZANU-PF has often been accused of violently harassing and attacking opponents.                            

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