Tsvangirai Boycotts Cabinet

Tsvangirai did not attend the cabinet meeting but instead travelled to Nyanga to meet victims of political violence belonging to his party.

Tsvangirai is also understood to have met South African president, Jacob Zuma’s facilitation team at his Strathaven home in Harare on his return from Nyanga.

Zuma facilitation team which comprises Lindiwe Zulu, Charles Nqakula and Mac Maharaj arrived in the country on Monday and met the principals and left the country on Thursday morning.

“Tsvangirai was conspicuous by his absence from cabinet. The coincidence with the coming in of the facilitation team made things worse as everyone thought he skipped cabinet to meet them,” sources said.

However Tsvangirai’s spokesperson, Luke Tamborinyoka said the PM had made prior arrangements to travel to Nyanga.

“The PM had gone to attend a social rights cluster meeting and later had a separate meeting with the Zuma facilitation team,” he said

The sources said there was already suspicion amongst the three parties in the inclusive government.

Tamborinyoka also said MDC leader Arthur Mutambara and President Mugabe also met the Zuma team separately on Wednesday.

Friction over key appointments has strained the unity government since its formation in February last year.

President Jacob Zuma’s three-member mediation team arrived in the country on Wednesday in the latest bid to ease tensions rocking the coalition government.

The visit follows Tsvangirai’s declaration of a constitutional crisis last week, over President Robert Mugabe’s unilateral appointment of senior government officials.

Tsvangirai has upped the stakes by writing to several countries, including South Africa, declaring ambassadors posted there were illegitimate, saying they were appointed without consultation.

Tsvangirai described the latest move by Mugabe as “rank madness and utterly nonsensical”.

The ambassadors that Tsvangirai demanded to be ignored are Phelekezela Mphoko, James Manzou, Mary Mubaiwa, Steven Chiketa, Chitsaka Chipaziwa and Margaret Muchada.