Zim war veterans threaten Tsvangirai over deal

Zimbabwe’s militant war veterans threatened on Wednesday to take action against Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai, and urged President Robert Mugabe to form a government without him.

Jabulani Sibanda, who chairs the militant grouping of the veterans of Zimbabwe’s war of independence, said the MMDC leader was stalling a power-sharing deal, which has hit deadlock over Cabinet posts.

”He is leaving the people of Zimbabwe with one option: to take action,” he told the official Herald newspaper. ”If he behaves the way he is behaving, this nation will take action to defend itself from him.”

The MDC, which has accused the war veterans of attacking its supporters, said on Tuesday Tsvangirai could boycott power-sharing talks next week and that fresh elections may be needed to break the political impasse.

Tsvangirai and Mugabe have clashed over the allocation of powerful ministries, threatening a September 15 deal that Zimbabweans hoped would help the once-prosperous country recover from a devastating economic meltdown.

Mugabe’s Zanu-PF says Tsvangirai, set to become prime minister under the deal, is stalling. But Tsvangirai accuses the president of negotiating in bad faith and trying to seize the lion’s share of key ministries while sidelining the MDC.

Tsvangirai’s frustration with weeks of fruitless talks boiled over on Monday when he refused to attend an emergency Southern African Development Community summit in Swaziland meant to break the deadlock, citing passport issues.

The summit has been moved to October 27 in Harare.

The MDC says pro-Mugabe war veterans brutally attacked its supporters in the run up to the June 27 presidential run-off, which Mugabe won after Tsvangirai dropped out in protest over the violence. — Reuters

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