ZIMBABWE – President Robert Mugabe made an about-turn yesterday and excluded MDC leader Welshman Ncube from the meeting of Global Political Agreement (GPA) principals despite making a commitment to respect a Sadc resolution on the matter.
Mugabe traditionally meets with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara to review progress in the implementation of the GPA.
But after Sadc leaders at the Mozambique summit last month resolved to stop recognising Mutambara as a principal, Mugabe was compelled to involve Ncube in the weekly review of the power-sharing agreement.
Tsvangirai’s spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka said the PM and Mugabe did not conclude their talks on the draft constitution and resolved to continue their discussions today. Mutambara did not attend yesterday’s meeting because he is outside the country.
Ncube said if it was true that the two had discussed the new constitution without his input, it would be a violation of the pledge Mugabe made to involve the MDC.
“Last time we agreed that when issues like the constitution-making process and the election roadmap are to be discussed, President Mugabe, Prime Minister Tsvangirai and I as political party leaders should be present,” he said.
“I am not even aware that there was a meeting.
“If they discussed it (the constitution) in my absence, let them do that in futility.”
Sadc mediator and South African President Jacob Zuma has refused to involve Mutambara in the talks despite Mugabe’s insistence that he was still a principal.
“After the Maputo summit, I met President Mugabe when he presented to me the draft constitution amended by his party,” Ncube said.
“We agreed he would consult me and Tsvangirai when discussing the issue of the constitution. If they met today (yesterday), it’s a breach of the agreement.”
Tamborinyoka said Tsvangirai had reiterated the MDC-T’s position that it would not accept Zanu PF’s amendments to the Copac draft constitution.
“The issue of the constitution was discussed, but I cannot pre-empt the discussion before tomorrow’s (today) meeting. But Prime Minister Tsvangirai made his position clear on the issue of the constitution,” Tamborinyoka said.
The two MDC formations have already endorsed the Copac draft. NewsDay