27 August 2008

Zimbabwe: Mugabe Says He Intends to Form Next Government

Robert Mugabe has responded to the humiliation he faced in Parliament on Tuesday by threatening to form a government, with or without the MDC.

In remarks made at a luncheon following the unprecedented scenes in parliament where his speech was often drowned out by the jeers of MDC MPs who clapped and sang songs deriding him and his ZANU PF party, Mugabe said he would soon be setting up a government as the MDC does not want to come in.

The comments drew an angry response from both factions of the MDC. Nelson Chamisa warned Mugabe that he would be declaring war against the people if he goes ahead and announces a new cabinet.

"You can't just have a cabinet without a mandate. He should wait for the conclusion of the dialogue together with the MDC, otherwise what he is doing is a recipe for disaster," Chamisa said.

The spokesperson for the smaller MDC faction, Edwin Mushoriwa added: "We are not going to be part of Mugabe's government. We are actually looking forward to the conclusion of the dialogue when Mugabe and Tsvangirai form a transitional government."

Hebson Makuvise, the MDC chief representative in London said despite events in the last two days which clearly proved Mugabe needed to cooperate with the MDC more now than ever, the lesson still appears not to have hit home.

"Mugabe is a person who unfortunately uses the one tool that he always uses whenever he wishes to deliver a message, and that is force. You only need to look at his record, and it's not the way to conduct business these days," Makuvise said.

Both MDC factions are keen to revive the power-sharing talks to bring an end to a decade-long political crisis. Negotiations broke off without a deal two weeks ago when Tsvangirai accused Mugabe of unwillingness to let go of some of his executive authority.

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