Unity government to continue – MDC

"If Zanu-PF derailed the constitutional [reform] then there would be no reason to stay in government," minister of state in the Prime Minister’s office Gordon Moyo said at a Wits University public lecture.

Despite criticism of the government of national unity (GNU), Moyo said it still had the support of members of Tsvangirai’s party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).

"People are saying, ‘do not pull out of that government."

Moyo said, students told him the MDC should continue to wrangle in government with Mugabe so a new constitution might be written.

"They are saying even if there is a glimpse of a new constitution, fight him. Fight him," recounted Moyo.

‘Put pressure on Zanu-Pf’

"If this fails then we go back to the people of Zimbabwe and ask for fresh elections."

Tsvangirai has reportedly met with the leaders of the Southern African Development Community and appealed for their help in dealing with the impasse in the GNU. Moyo said the prime minister would also be meeting with President Jacob Zuma.

"We are expecting them to put pressure on Zanu-PF," he said.

In the past week, the MDC had "disengaged" from government following the arrest of MDC MP Roy Bennett.

Moyo said his party would not withdraw from the government.

"Our intention is not to pull out of the government, because we won the election."

Moyo was speaking at a lecture on GNU’s on the African continent.

Serious flaws

Zimbabwean political analyst Tendai Dumabutshena criticised power-sharing agreements because they ignored elections in favour of political elites.

He argued that they had little value because power in African states was always held by the incumbent in the executive branch, not the ministerial posts bargained with during negotiations between rival parties.

He had special criticism for the GNU in Zimbabwe.

"The MDC is like a woman who is terribly abused by her husband but can’t see life outside their relationship," said Dumabutshena.

Power-sharing in Zimbabwe did have serious flaws, said Moyo. However, he pointed out that the MDC had not only won an election in March but had begged for help from SADC to no avail. Moyo said they had expended all of their options.

Strategic deception

"What was the MDC supposed to do?" asked Moyo. "We have no illusion that Mugabe is going to become a good man.

"Zanu-PF is acting in bad faith and what I call strategic deception. They are using the interim to entrench themselves," he said.

Dumabutshena said this pointed to the flaw of the GNU, that the length of its existence was determined by Mugabe.

"I don’t know if they can say it’s transitional because the prime minister [Tsvangirai] can’t say when elections will be held.

"The only one under this GNU who knows when elections will be held is Mugabe," said Dumabutshena.