Tsvangirai may skip Harare summit

Zimbabwe opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai might not attend a summit of regional leaders next week in Harare, his spokesperson said on Tuesday, warning a proposed unity government is in jeopardy.

Tsvangirai refused to meet on Monday with President Robert Mugabe at a summit in Swaziland that had aimed to save the power-sharing agreement signed on September 15.

His opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said the government’s failure to issue Tsvangirai a passport had cast doubt on the sincerity of the negotiations with Mugabe’s long-ruling Zanu-PF.

Tsvangirai has not had a passport for months, and must seek emergency travel documents, valid for a single trip, each time he leaves the country.

Hoping to rescue the unity accord, the Southern African leaders agreed to hold new talks between the rivals in Harare on Monday October 27, but MDC spokesperson Nelson Chamisa said that Tsvangirai could not yet confirm if he would attend.

“Whether we are going to the summit or not, we are not in a position to say right now as we are assessing the sitution,” Chamisa said.

“We are assessing the sincerity of these guys to see if they are negotiating in good faith or not,” he said.

In a statement, he warned that the government’s refusal to give Tsvangirai a passport “puts the entire political agreement in jeopardy”.

The new summit in Harare “may be in vain if Zanu-PF continues to display such a blatant lack of trust”, the statement said.

Under the power-sharing deal, Mugabe (84) is to remain as president while Tsvangirai takes the new post of prime minister.

But talks are stalled over control of powerful ministries—particularly home affairs, which oversees the police force.—Sapa-AFP

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