Friday, October 08, 2010
Posted: Friday, October 8, 2010 6:28 am
Zimbabwes Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai leaves after speaking to the media at his party headquarters in Harare June 23, 2010.
PRIME Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is under renewed pressure from the MDC-T party's financiers to take a firm stand on the appointment of former white farmer Mr Roy Bennett as deputy agriculture minister. Mr Bennett is the MDC-T party's treasurer.
Mr Tsvangirai yesterday told the media in Harare that his party wanted Mr Bennett in the inclusive Government or else they would not recognise several other members of the executive and civil service.
The state has appealed Bennett's May acquittal on charges of plotting to overthrow President Mugabe.
Zanu-PF spokesman, Rugare Gumbo, said Thursday that legal cases against Mr Bennett must be settled before his Cabinet appointment can be considered.
President Mugabe has indicated that Mr Bennett will not be appointed until matters before the courts have been resolved. The Zanu-PF Politburo has also indicated that the party will not make any further concessions to the MDC until illegal sanctions they campaigned for are removed.
Mr Tsvangirai has issued fresh calls on Sadc to intervene to pressure President Mugabe to make the appointment.
It is understood that Mr Tsvangirai has been pressured by the party’s financiers to take a stand for Mr Bennett even if it means boycotting some functions of Government.
Mr Tsvangirai also claimed there were no economic sanctions on Zimbabwe, despite his earlier call for the sanctions to be lifted.
Sadc, the African Union and many other progressive international groups are all presently fighting to have the embargo lifted.
The Global Political Agreement (GPA) which paved way for the inclusive Government is clear that there are economic and other forms of sanctions on Zimbabwe.
Mr Tsvangirai made an admission to the media that the Bennett issue had triggered the boycott.
Ironically, Mr Bennett has himself said he is prepared to forego an official appointment if it will interfere with the functions of the inclusive Government.
Mr Tsvangirai — speaking after an extraordinary MDC-T national executive meeting called to deliberate on this and other issues — said they would not recognise RBZ Governor Dr Gideon Gono, Attorney-General Johannes Tomana, the 10 provincial governors and five High and Supreme Court judges.
He said: "He (President Mugabe) confirmed to me and DPM Mutambara on Monday that he has no intention of ever swearing in Roy."
MDC-T sources said the Bennett issue resulted in the MDC-T extraordinary meeting.
Zanu-PF has said it will not make any concessions to MDC-T until sanctions are removed.
Last week South African President Jacob Zuma called on the European Union to remove the illegal sanctions on Zimbabwe while Botswana’s President Ian Khama made a similar call for the first time.
Malawi’s President Bingu Wa Mutharika, who is the AU chair, took the same message to the United Nations General Assembly last month.