Mugabe refuses to budge over MDC cabinet boycott
Mugabe has shrugged off the former opposition's boycott of Zimbabwe's unity government, saying he would not yield to pressure to make concessions.
President Robert Mugabe has shrugged off the former opposition's boycott of Zimbabwe's unity government, saying he would not yield to pressure to make concessions, state media reported on Saturday.
Mugabe and his former opposition foe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, formed a power-sharing government in February to end a political stalemate that followed last year's elections.
A new crisis hit the government last week when Tsvangirai and his MDC party said it would stop attending cabinet meetings in protest against the arrest of a senior official and Mugabe's refusal to implement a political pact in full.
In his first public comments on the matter, Mugabe said his party had fulfilled its part of the agreement and he would not to yield to MDC pressure, according to the state-controlled Herald newspaper.
"The matters the people are complaining about in the MDC are that we should now voluntarily...give away aspects of our authority. We will not do that," Mugabe was quoted as saying.
"They can go to any summit, any part of the world to appeal. That will not happen."
Mugabe said he did not believe the unity government faced collapse.
"I do not read that they would want to leave the inclusive government. I think they will come back to it soon."
The Herald said Mugabe and Tsvangirai would resume their weekly meetings on Monday to try to end the impasse.
Tsvangirai, who has been on a regional tour to seek help from leaders who brokered the power-sharing deal, told reporters in Angola on Friday his dispute with Mugabe was a temporary setback that would not lead to the collapse of the pact.
On Saturday, MDC secretary general Tendai Biti told reporters that armed police had raided a party house in one of Harare's affluent suburbs on the pretext that they were looking for weapons.
"We consider this a serious invasion of our privacy and a serious attack on our party. This is gross provocation...but we will look the dictatorship in the eye."
Reuters Last Mod: 24 Ekim 2009, 16:51