MDC ministers vacate offices

HARARE- The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Friday ordered all its ministers to stop working from government offices.

The order includes the Prime Minister Tsvangirai, who the MDC said had also moved out of his office.

The move follows an impasse between the MDC and Zanu-PF over unresolved issues under the Global Political Agreement (GPA) signed in September 2008.

MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa told The Zimbabwe Times that the premier and his team in government had immediately vacated their offices.

“The Prime Minister is just going there for the last time to conduct a briefing then after that he will be working from the Harvest House until all outstanding issues are resolved. This also applies to all ministers,” said Chamisa moments after the premier had announced that his party had stopped engaging Zanu-PF in government until all the political issues are resolved.

Among some of the issues that are yet to be resolved are the appointment of Roy Bennett into government, and of provincial governors, the rescinding  of appointments of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) governor and Attorney General.

Tsvangirai had earlier on told journalists of his party’s decision to cut ties with Zanu-PF until these issues were dealt with fully. His announcement just fell short of a pull-out from government which could have triggered a constitutional crisis.

In his address he carefully put it as “disengagement from dealing with Zanu PF”.

“We are not pulling out because the people of Zimbabwe want real change and that is our obligation. It is not because we cannot make that decision but it’s because we are conscious of our responsibility to deliver that change for the people and the people appreciate that,” said Tsvangirai.

Asked whether he would continue meeting Mugabe and Mutambara for their weekly Monday meetings where most of the thorny issues plaguing the government have been discussed, Tsvangirai said, “Our disengagement includes the Monday meetings.”

He however said parliament would continue to conduct its business.

“Parliament will continue to work; it’s separate from the executive,” said Tsvangirai.

He also added that his party would be prepared to meet Zanu-PF to discuss the political crisis, the worst  that has been witnessed since the inception of the GNU in February this year.

He said his party’s decision to terminate relations  with Zanu-PF was not in anyway motivated by the detention of Roy Bennett.

“Let me emphasise this, “ Tsvangirai said,” this decision has not been made because of Bennett as some might want think.

“This has purely nothing to do with Bennett but with the collapse of trust in our Zanu PF partners in government.”

He said should Zanu-PF not change its way of doing business in the inclusive government, he wouldl be left with no option but to ask for fresh elections.

“Should this constitutional crisis escalates, the self-evident solution would be the holding of free and fair elections to be conducted by SADC and AU under the supervision of UN,” said Tsvangirai. The Zimbabwe Times