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Join Govt, SA tells MDC-T
Posted: Saturday, January 10, 2009

By Takunda Maodza
January 10, 2009

The Herald

SADC chairperson Cde Kgalema Motlanthe, who is also the President of South Africa, yesterday urged MDC-T to settle "outstanding issues" with Zanu-PF after the formation of the envisaged inclusive Government to address the challenges confronting the country.

Cde Motlanthe was quoted as blaming MDC-T for having a "lackadaisical" attitude towards the formation of the envisaged Government.

"The sooner an inclusive Government is formed, the sooner there can be concerted efforts by all parties to deal with a massive humanitarian crisis. But the fact is that the parties there have, sometimes, had a lackadaisical attitude to these matters," he was quoted as saying.

President Motlantheís call comes at a time when Sadc has rejected a request by MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai for a meeting to reopen debate on the allocation of ministries in the inclusive Government, an issue that was resolved at the blocís extraordinary meeting held in Sandton last year that urged the parties to form a government "forthwith".

Sadc executive secretary Dr Tomaz Salamao told journalists in Harare on Thursday that the regional bloc had no plans to convene another such meeting.

Earlier in the week, President Motlanthe rejected another request by Mr Tsvangirai asking him to facilitate a "confidential meeting" with President Mugabe.

Sources said Cde Montlanthe told Mr Tsvangirai that when Sadc urged Zimbabwean parties to form a government forthwith, he was in the chair, and Mr Tsvangirai had no reason approaching him as he was bound by the resolutions made at Sandton.

He, thus, told Mr Tsvangirai to immediately join the envisaged inclusive Government.

However, in the wake of pronouncements from the US State Department that Washington had "withdrawn support" for the envisaged inclusive Government, Mr Tsvangirai has been dithering over joining the inclusive Government.

US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer was last month quoted as saying the US could not allow Mr Tsvangirai to join the inclusive Government as he was "too weak" and was bound to be outmanoeuvred by President Mugabe.

The shifting of goalposts by MDC-T has, however, not stopped Cde Mugabe from pressing ahead with the formation of a new Government with the full consent of Sadc.

Constitutional Amendment Number 19 Bill, which seeks to give legal effect to provisions of the broad-based agreement signed last year, has been gazetted; and President Mugabe has since terminated the executive appointments of ministers and deputy ministers who failed to win seats in last yearís harmonised elections.

Indications are that the new Government would be in place next month.

President Mugabe invited Mr Tsvangirai and Professor Mutambara for a swearing-in ceremony as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, respectively, in accordance with the September 15 broad-based agreement.

Mr Tsvangirai, who remains holed up in Botswana, turned down the invitation, in light of Frazerís statements, claiming further negotiations were required.

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