Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

MDC backtracks on pullout plan

Zimbabwe Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s party has dropped its plans to pull out of the unity government after its supporters rejected the proposals during consultations.

The decision by the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), which won most of the parliamentary seats in last year’s elections, will bring some stability into the troubled coalition government.

Former foes, President Robert Mugabe and Mr Tsvangirai formed the unity government in February but they still differ sharply on a number of key issues.

Mr Tsvangirai’s MDC began consulting its supporters last month after its top decision making bodies recommended that the party must pull out of the power sharing arrangement accusing Mr Mugabe of refusing to reform.

On September 24, the MDC started a poll on its website to run parallel with the consultations.

The party asked its supporters to vote on the question: “Should The MDC pull out of the inclusive government?”

MDC officials say the supporters voted overwhelmingly for the party to give the new arrangement that has helped slow down Zimbabwe’s world record breaking inflation and eased drugs and food shortages, a chance.

Mr Tsvangirai said the online poll showed that Zimbabweans wanted his party to stay in the inclusive government despite some “toxic issues.”

“I want to tell you the evaluation (through the online poll) is overwhelmingly that we should stay in government and make this the direction the country needs to take,” he said on his return from Spain where he received two international human rights awards.

He was backed by the party’s secretary general and Finance Minister Mr Tendai Biti who said although there was “no chemistry in this marriage”, they would do all they can to make it work.

“If you have been married for seven months and you find that the marriage has no chemistry, something is wrong,” said Mr Biti who is one of the MDC hardliners who were against the party joining Mr Mugabe in the government.

He said they were frustrated by the “selective and eclectic application of the global political agreement”, and would work through their principals and government systems to ensure that “the continued balkanisation ends”.

“Let us liquidate the ugly politics,” said Mr Biti, adding that he and other MDC officials would not quit the inclusive government.

Mr Tsvangirai has also called on Western countries to lift sanctions on Zimbabwe to reward progress made by the unity government. Source: Daily Nation