Tsvangirai defends US trip


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US – PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has said he will not be bullied by Zanu PF to accept wide-ranging changes to the Copac draft after Zanu PF commentators blasted his US trip in the middle of the stand-off.

Tsvangirai travelled to the US for President Barack Obama’s 2012 Democrats National Convention this week, a trip that has opened him to unrestrained attack from Zanu PF analysts.

They charged that he was globetrotting amidst a crisis back home, had rushed to take instructions from his Western handlers while others said the trip confirmed Tsvangirai’s status as a stooge of the West.

Tsvangirai missed a principals meeting on Monday and a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday. Zanu PF says he has squandered an opportunity to negotiate the amendments brought by Zanu PF thereby prolonging the Copac draft deadlock.

But he said he will not negotiate any further. Tsvangirai’s spokesperson Luke Tamborinyoka said it was actually Zanu PF which was formenting the deadlock not the MDC. “My principal does not take orders from the Zanu PF Politburo,” Tamborinyoka said from North Carolina. “It is them whom have an issue with the Constitution but they submitted their 226 amendments to the other principals and left for the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) without discussing their document.

Why should we do their bidding?” Tamborinyoka was referring to Mugabe’s trip to Iran for the NAM after
handing over the Copac draft with wide sweeping amendments to his coalition partners on August 21 after Cabinet meeting. Tamborinyoka said they have referred the dispute to Sadc, and no principals’ meeting will resolve this.

He spoke amid reports the Sadc troika was convening an urgent summit on Zimbabwe in October to try and break the deadlock.

Meanwhile Zanu PF is demanding an audit of the Copac draft against the national report, which contains views expressed by Zimbabweans during four months of public hearings in 2010. This classic trade-off lies at the heart of an emerging deal to rewrite Zimbabwe’s rulebook for years, perhaps decades, to come.

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