MDC boycott rattles Mugabe

Mugabe wants to avoid a Southern African Development Community (SADC) intervention in the Zimbabwe crisis, sources in his Zanu-PF say.

They say the decision by Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to disengage from the government has put pressure on Mugabe.

Mugabe, who is in Uganda attending a refugees summit, is said to have been alarmed that the MDC tactic of boycotting the government over outstanding issues from the Global Political Agreement seems to be moving SADC to intervene.

Tsvangirai is travelling in the region on a diplomatic offensive to push SADC leaders to intervene in Zimbabwe. He has met Mozambican President Armando Guebuza, who is the chairman of the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security.

Tsvangirai also met President Jacob Zuma who promised him that South Africa would help to make sure Zimbabwe did not slide back to instability.

A top ZANU-PF official said in Harare yesterday that Mugabe was left with no option but to engage Tsvangirai and try to address his grievances.

"Initially Tsvangirai’s move looked like a joke. But it seems the plan is working. SADC seems to be paying attention to the MDC and obviously this is worrying to us.We can’t afford to have SADC coming here blaming us for derailing the unity government.

"President Mugabe wants a meeting with Tsvangirai either at the weekend or on Monday so that they deal with the outstanding issues.

"Mugabe is ready to meet Tsvangirai," said the official. IOL