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MDC to boycott unity govt in protest at 'dishonest' Mugabe party

Video by Luke BROWN

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2009-10-17

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai (photo) says his Movement for Democratic Change will boycott Zimbabwe's national unity government, calling President Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF party "dishonest and unreliable".

AFP - Zimbabwe's opposition MDC will boycott the country's power-sharing government until all sticking points have been resolved and a political deal is reached, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said on Friday. 

Tsvangirai said his Movement for Democratic Change would disengage from President Robert Mugabe's "dishonest and unreliable" ZANU-PF party in the country's unity cabinet set up in February. 

"It is our right to disengage from a dishonest and unreliable partner. In this regard, whilst being in government we shall forthwith disengage from ZANU-PF and in particular from cabinet and the council of ministers until such time as confidence and respect are restored amongst us," Tsvangirai toldreporters. 

The fresh crisis in Zimbabwe comes after a court this week ordered the prison detention of Roy Bennett, a senior MDC official, and ruled that he should stand trial on terrorism charges. 

Tsvangirai said the detention of Bennett showed that Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party regarded the MDC as a junior partner and that the power-sharing administration would collapse if the president continued his unilateral rule. 

"The ... detention of our party treasurer Roy Bennett has brought home the fiction of the credibility and integrity of the transitional government. It has brought home the self-evident fact that ZANU-PF see us as a junior, fickle and unserious movement," Tsvangirai said. 

He said if the new constitutional crisis escalated further, it would only be resolved by the holding of fresh elections under supervision of the United Nations and regional body the Southern African Development Community.

Date created : 2009-10-16

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