Mutambara and Robert Mugabe blasts MDC for approaching SADC and AU

HARARE – Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF and MDC- M have described as premature an MDC-T national executive resolution on Sunday to refer outstanding issues in the Global Political Agreement to Sadc and the African Union for arbitration, saying the three parties’ principals have not declared a deadlock.

Responding to the MDC-T resolution to refer the issues to the guarantors of the September 15 Global Political Agreement, the parties said President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Mutambara should, however, resolve the outstanding issues.

Zanu-PF negotiator in the dialogue that led to the political settlement Nicholas Goche yesterday said the discussions between the principals have not yet reached a stage where there was need for arbitration.

He said the fact that PM Tsvangirai indicated that 95 percent of the issues had been resolved meant the discussions were close to conclusion.

"The principals have not yet declared a deadlock and this means some progress has been made during their meetings.

"The Prime Minister says a lot of ground has been covered and do we need Sadc or the African Union to arbitrate over 5 percent of the remaining issues?" Goche said.

PM Tsvangirai told the media in South Africa recently that significant progress had been made in discussions with President Mugabe and DPM Mutambara.

He also added that no deadline had been set for the principals with his office indicating that an announcement on the outstanding issues was due soon.

MDC spokesperson Edwin Mushoriwa concurred with the Zanu-PF position, adding that there was, however, need for a speedy resolution of the outstanding issues.

"The outstanding issues cannot remain unresolved because they are now overshadowing issues of delivery," he said.

Mushoriwa said since the principals have not declared a deadlock, it meant they were still discussing the issues.

"The principals have had to cancel several meetings because of other commitments, but we want them to resolve these issues.

"The inclusive Government has gone for more than 100 days but instead of concentrating on service delivery, we are still talking of outstanding issues," he said.

Mushoriwa said it would be unfortunate to have to call for the intervention of the guarantors of the power-sharing agreement.

PM Tsvangirai on Sunday succumbed to pressure from his party to refer the issue to Sadc and the AU even though the principals have not declared a deadlock.

He said as a "worker" of the party, he was bound by the decision to refer the matter to Sadc and the AU. (The Herald)