/ 28 May 2009

Tsvangirai’s MDC meets on progress

Zimbabwe leader Morgan Tsvangirai’s party will assess progress and discuss outstanding issues hampering the unity government with President Robert Mugabe at its annual national conference this weekend.

”We are expecting about 1 000 delegates from all the country’s provinces,” said Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) spokesperson Nelson Chamisa, who is also Minister of Information and Communication Technology.

”The conference is tasked with reviewing party policy, particularly considering that we are now in government, and [to] assess and evaluate … objectives of creating a new Zimbabwe and fighting for freedom and democratic space.”

The unity government this month struck agreement on the bulk of outstanding issues that have hampered its work, but has asked regional leaders to break a deadlock over the appointment by Mugabe of the central bank chief and attorney general.

”Outstanding issues that have been referred to SADC [the 15-nation Southern African Development Community] are also going to be raised at the conference,” Chamisa said.

The conference comes as the MDC prepares to mark its 10th anniversary later this year.

The MDC, Mugabe’s Zimbabwe African National Union (Zanu-PF) party and a smaller MDC splinter faction formed a power-sharing government in February, with Tsvangirai as prime minister and Mugabe as president, nearly a year after disputed polls.

The new government is tasked with easing political tensions and tackling a chronic economic crisis that has condemned the majority of the population to poverty. — AFP