Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai on Monday accused a top minister in President Robert Mugabe’s party of orchestrating a weekend attack on his Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) rally outside the capital Harare.
Tsvangirai told a news conference at his home that Saviour Kasukuwere, the minister leading efforts to make foreign businesses cede shares to local blacks, had brought in militants from Mugabe’s Zanu-PF to disrupt the rally on Sunday in the suburb of Chitungwiza.
“I told the president that Kasukuwere and … a special councillor in Chitungwiza were responsible for bringing youths in Chitungwiza a night before the meeting,” Tsvangirai said.
“It has been proven that Zanu-PF was responsible and the president cannot dispute what he has been told,” the premier said.
He said that both parties would gather their top leadership for a joint meeting on Friday to address the violence, after a week that saw his rally attacked and his party’s office teargassed by police.
Addressing the violence
“We have agreed that on Friday we are going to convene a meeting of all executive committees … to address the issue of violence,” he said.
“Violence is not being spearheaded from the bottom, it’s being spearheaded from the top by senior political practitioners.”
“We want all of us to make a commitment … that violence will not be tolerated,” said the head of the MDC.
Tsvangirai joined long-ruling Mugabe (87) in a unity government more than two years ago to halt attacks that left more than 200 of his supporters dead after the MDC leader won the first round of presidential polls.
Tsvangirai pulled out of the runoff to end the attacks, and joined the unity government under intense regional pressure.
Drafting the Constitution
The unity government is overseeing the drafting of a new Constitution that will lead to new elections, expected possibly next year.
“We agreed that once a report of the Constitution-making process has been given, we must actually have a date of elections,” Tsvangirai said.
“There is no consensus yet on the date,” he said.
“If we allow the current situation to prevail, and I say if, then the election will be a sham,” Tsvangirai said. “At the moment, in the face of what happened this last week, if such a situation were to prevail I cannot see that as a free and fair election.” — Sapa-AFP