Breaking News: Morgan Tsvangirai Pulls Out Of Zimbabwe Cabinet But Not Government
Morgan Tsvangirai speaks to the press a few moments ago at Harvest House, where announced that the MDC is pulling out of Cabinet but stated categorially that "we are not pulling out of government." He insists that he is only pulling out of the Executive and will not attend cabinet nor will he convene the Council of Ministers until all outstanding issues are resolved. He says this is not about Roy Bennett.
Harare, Zimbabwe, 16 October 2009
I have just returned from Morgan Tsvangirai's press conference, which was held eventually at Harvest House and not Munhumutapa Building as originally communicated to us.
The Prime Minister announced that he is "disengaging" from cabinet, the Council of Ministers, an the Executive in the Inclusive Government until all his outstanding issues are resolved.
Yet, Tsvangirai categorically told the press conference: "We are not pulling out of government, we are disengaging from the Executive."
Asked what will happen in parliament, Tsvangirai said "parliament is not part of the Executive and will continue as usual."
That is the essence of what he had communicate today.
It is unlikely that Mugabe will take the slightest bit of notice.
Tsvangirai also confirmed today that Mugabe is refusing to see him, saying "there is now a constitutional crisis" because Executive power rests is shared between the President, the Prime Minister and the Cabinet and that this executive power can not be exercised "when the president won't see the Prime Minister."
As for the Monday meetings during which he reports to Mugabe, Tsvangirai also announced that he will be boycotting these.
He says Mugabe can proceed "unilaterally" and he will be the one who would have caused the collapse of this government.
He denied that he was doing this because of Roy Bennett and said it was because outstanding issues had not been resolved, SADC has failed to review the GPA and ministerial allocations almost a year after the agreement was signed.
He also confirmed what I have been telling you for ages on this blog, that ZANU PF is busy deploying militias and military people into the rural areas, where they are now beefing up their camps from the violent June 27 run-off, which were never dismantled.
He also confirmed that there are still 16 000 ZANU PF militia people on the payroll of government.
When questioned about the elections should this government fail, Tsvangirai replied that the date for new elections will have to be decided only after a referendum on the constitution and that the date can not be decided on by Mugabe alone.
This is despite the fact that the Constitution is quite clear that Mugabe consults the Electoral Commission but decides on the date himself.
The MDC never negotiated for the process of settling on an election date during the negotiations, so that means this whole matter is up in the air and at the mercy of Mugabe's whims.