Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai met with Namibian President Hifikepunye Pohamba on Monday, with growing evidence that Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa and a clique of military, police and state security chiefs are now effectively running the country while sidelining the coalition government.
Tsvangirai, whose tense coalition with the man he defeated in the March 2008 election, Robert Mugabe, will feature at a meeting of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) security organ on Thursday in Zambia.
“I briefed President Pohamba … on the discord in Zimbabwe and the drafting of the constitution that will lead to a referendum and elections,” Tsvangirai told journalists after the hour-long talks in the Namibian capital Windhoek.
“President Pohamba emphasised that there is a need to preserve Zimbabwe’s inclusive government, and I think he wishes to keep the coalition in place until the referendum and credible elections for a new government.”
Tsvangirai believes “the civilian authority is no longer in charge and dark and sinister forces have engaged in a hostile take-over of running the affairs of the country.’ His spokesman Luke Tamborinyoka told journalists the MDC was facing a crackdown by a “third force outside government”.
“For the past three weeks MDC (members) could not hold public meetings, although there is no ban on such meetings. Cabinet agreed that there will be no ban on MDC meetings, yet the police barred the meetings,” he said.
A cabinet minister in the smaller MDC faction, Priscilla Misihairambwi Mushonga, claims a ‘smart coup’ has taken place. It’s widely believed Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa is now calling the shots with Mugabe effectively now just a figurehead.
Meanwhile Tsvangirai plans to travel to the Democratic Republic of Congo and Tanzania ahead of Thursday’s meeting, which he said he would attend.