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Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai Takes Dispute With President Mugabe to Region, AU


Mr. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change formation is also deeply at odds with Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party over the troubled - and for practical purposes stalled - process of revising the national constitution

Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has appealed to guarantors of the Harare power sharing government in a bid to resolve mounting tensions between him and President Robert Mugabe, whom he accused this week of flouting the constitution by making senior governmental appointment on a unilateral basis.

Mr. Tsvangirai’s Movement for Democratic Change formation is also deeply at odds with Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF party over the troubled - and for practical purposes stalled - process of revising the national constitution.

Mr. Tsvangirai told a news conference Thursday that he and his party will not recognize Reserve Bank Governor Gideon Gono or Attorney General Johannes Tomana as well as five judges, six ambassadors and 10 provincial governors appointed by President Mugabe since late 2008, when power sharing was agreed in principle.

MDC sources said Mr. Tsvangirai on Friday wrote to the Southern African Development Community and the regional grouping's mediator in Zimbabwe, South African President Jacob Zuma, as well as the African Union, also a guarantor of the 2008 Global Political Agreement for power sharing, to inform them of the position he has taken.

The prime minister has also asked countries in which ambassadors appointed by Mr. Mugabe in the period in question are serving, urging them in effect to revoke their credentials, arguing that their appointments were illegal.

Tsvangirai in his remarks to reporters on Thursday vowed that, "As executive prime minister of the Republic of Zimbabwe, I will today be advising the countries to whom these ambassadors have been posted that these appointments are illegal and therefore null and void."

Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that the former opposition party will not allow Mr. Mugabe to abuse the constitution.

But Tsholotsho, Matabeleland, member of parliament Jonathan Moyo, a ZANU-PF member, maintained that President Mugabe has been acting properly within the scope of his office.

Constitutional law expert Shadrack Gutto of the University of South Africa in Johannesburg said Mr Tsvangirai has upped the ante in his conflict with Mr. Mugabe in a bid for regional intervention.

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