SADC responds to Tsvangirai's call

MAPUTO – The chairperson of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security Cooperation, Armando Emilio Guebuza, is scheduled to meet Zimbabwe's Prime Minister today following reports of a possible collapse of the unity government in Harare.\r\n

The SADC secretariat confirmed in a statement today that the president of Mozambique has accepted a request to meet the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai, as he had requested an audience.

The meeting will be held in Chimoio, in the Manica province of Mozambique, the statement said.

Mr Tsvangirai announced on Friday that his party was backing-off from participation in cabinet and other government activities following continued intimidation and lack of cooperation on the part of the sharing partners, the ZANU-PF of Robert Mugabe.

The frustrated Zimbabwean prime minister also called on the regional block to intervene.

The Zimbabwe unity government was brokered by the SADC together with other international players, following months of unfruitful talks while the Zimbabwean political, economic and humanitarian crisis was worsening.

Since the formation of the compromise marriage of convenience in February, the opposition led by Mr Tsvangirai has complained of outstanding issues that needed to be worked out for the smooth running of the unity government.

Zimbabwe has been holed into crisis after another since President Mugabe refused to step down and accept loss when his part lost majority in the 2008 elections, decising to go on a one man contest in what was called the presidential run-off to decide the winner.

Violence, intimidation and frequent harrassment and arrests of the opposition became the order while the country’s economy went a record deepest end ever, scoring a hyper-inflation ever recorded.