I got assurances from Kabila: Tsvangirai

HARARE – Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said he got assurances from Southern African Development Community (SADC) chairman Joseph Kabila that the region was committed to see full implementation of Zimbabwe’s power-sharing agreement.

"He gave me assurances that SADC is committed to see this country move forward (and) to make sure that the train is back on the rail," Tsvangirai told reporters after meeting Kabila on Monday night.

Kabila, who is the President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), met the Zimbabwean Premier after the SADC chairman’s five-hour afternoon meeting with Mugabe.

"There is common cause that the GPA must be fulfilled, it’s a question of how to implement it," said Tsvangirai

Zimbabwe’s nine-month-old unity government that the SADC helped set up was plunged into its worst crisis when Tsvangirai and his MDC-T party announced more than two weeks ago that they were boycotting Cabinet meetings to protest President Robert Mugabe’s failure to fully implement a power-sharing pact – Global Political Agreement (GPA) – that established the coalition government.

Kabila’s visit comes two days after a ministerial team from the regional bloc’s politics, defence and security organ – also known as the Troika – completed a fact-finding mission on the inclusive government.

The Troika, chaired by Mozambican President Armando Guebuza with Zambia’s President Rupiah Banda his deputy and Swaziland’s King Mswati the third member, is set to meet in Maputo, Mozambique on Thursday to discuss Zimbabwe’s troubled coalition government.

South Africa attends the Troika’s meetings on Zimbabwe as mediator in the crisis.

Commenting on the Troika meeting Tsvangirai said there was need for a solution to be found.

"They have to move and if this fails then there is need for an extraordinary summit of heads of states."

Mugabe’s ZANU PF party and Tsvangirai’s MDC remain deadlocked over key appointments while the MDC also accuses ZANU PF of engaging in a campaign to persecute its supporters.

At least 17 MDC legislators have been arrested since the beginning of the year on charges ranging from theft and public violence to rape and playing music that denigrates Mugabe.

ZANU PF, in turn, accuses the MDC of reneging on a promise to push for the removal of travel bans and an asset freeze slapped by the West on its senior officials. – ZimOnline