Zimbabwe's MDC will boycott unity government

Tsvangirai called off a cabinet meeting Thursday after a magistrate's court detained top aide Roy Bennett ahead of his trial on terrorism charges, officials said.

Zimbabwe's MDC will boycott unity government

Zimbabwe's opposition MDC will boycott the country's power-sharing government until all sticking points have been resolved and a political deal is reached, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Friday.

Tsvangirai called off a cabinet meeting Thursday after a magistrate's court detained top aide Roy Bennett ahead of his trial on terrorism charges, officials said.

Tsvangirai said his Movement for Democratic Change would disengage from President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party in the country's unity cabinet set up in February.

"It is our right to disengage from a dishonest and unreliable partner. In this regard, whilst being in government we shall forthwith disengage from ZANU-PF and in particular from cabinet and the council of ministers until such time as confidence and respect are restored amongst us," Tsvangirai told reporters.

Roy Bennett, Tsvangirai's pick as deputy agriculture minister, was sent back to jail to stand trial Monday.

The Movement for Democratic Change party treasurer, accused of possessing arms for the purposes of banditry, terrorism and inciting acts of insurgency, had been free on bail since March. He had been arrested on February 13, the day the unity government was sworn in.

Tsvangirai said the detention of Bennett showed that Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party regarded the MDC as a junior partner and that the power-sharing administration would collapse if the president continued his unilateral rule.

"The ... detention of our party treasurer Roy Bennett has brought home the fiction of the credibility and integrity of the transitional government. It has brought home the self-evident fact that ZANU-PF see us as a junior, fickle and unserious movement," Tsvangirai said.

He said if the new constitutional crisis escalated further, it would only be resolved by the holding of fresh elections under supervision of the United Nations and regional body the Southern African Development Community.


Agencies

Last Mod: 16 Ekim 2009, 15:12
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