/ 26 April 2009

Tsvangirai says there’s no going back on unity deal

Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Saturday there was no going back on a unity government with long-time rival Robert Mugabe and called for reconciliation among political

”There is no reverse on the inclusive government,” Tsvangirai told supporters at a rally in the lead-up to his Movement for Democratic Change party’s 10th anniversary later this year.

”There will be insults but we will get there. We need to respect each other although we may differ. There is need for reconciliation. Although we attacked and insulted each other in 1980 when we won independence we said let’s forgive each other.”

Tsvangirai became prime minister in a power-sharing government with long-time president Mugabe formed on February 15. It aims to tackle the country’s chronic economic crisis and ease political tensions in the aftermath of contentious presidential elections last year.

Tsvangirai expressed satisfaction with the progress of the inclusive government so far and his dealings with Mugabe.

”There is nothing Mugabe does without me approving,” Tsvangirai said. ”There is nothing I do without Mugabe approving.”

But Tsvangirai decried reports of fresh violence on white-owned farms by pro-Mugabe militants.

”We are not going to accept chaos on agricultural land,” he warned. ”Let’s distinguish between criminal activity and land reform.”

He said the new government will launch an audit to determine ownership and use of land and flush out ”fraudulent, criminal activity”.

Deputy premier Arthur Mutambara has launched an investigation into recent attacks on the farms, which once made Zimbabwe a regional food exporter.

Since the reforms started in 2000, farm production has plunged, leaving seven million people — more than half the population — dependent on international food aid. – AFP