MDC sets its sights on the UN

HARARE – Advisers to MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai want him to look past a planned SADC summit and prepare to take his stand-off with President Robert Mugabe to the African Union, and ultimately to the United Nations.

It is unlikely the summit of heads of state, called after a meeting of the SADC troika failed to end the deadlock, will bring a resolution, as the MDC appears to have adopted an ambitious strategy to "escalate this matter as far as we can", according to a senior Tsvangirai adviser.

The opposition sees this week’s call for a broader regional summit as a major step towards a plan to drive the Zimbabwe crisis back on to the UN agenda, said the official.

It is unlikely, he said, that the SADC summit, planned for next week, will see a resolution to the crisis.

"We are looking beyond that. We need to take this to the AU and then to the UN, and fight there for international involvement in the crisis," said the official, who declined to be named.

This week, the MDC broadened its demands and disputed the SADC’s statement that the power-sharing deal has stalled over the allocation of the home affairs portfolio.

The MDC now cites six areas it wants to discuss:

  • The allocation of ministries;
  • The appointment of the 10 provincial governors;
  • The composition and functions of the national security council, a cluster of security agencies proposed to replace the Joint Operations Command;
  • The appointment of ambassadors, heads of state enterprises and permanent secretaries, who direct the operations of government ministries;
  • Constitutional amendments enabling the new government; and
  • The "fraudulent alteration" of the agreement reached on September 11. The MDC now claims the document its leader signed on September 15 was different from the original deal reached earlier.

More controversy was generatedafter MDC secretary general Tendai Biti gave reporters a new plan which proposes to cut the rival MDC faction out of the agreement completely. Mail & Guardian