Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai has ordered senators of his Movement for Democratic Change formation to return to business as usual following disruptions of Senate debate to protest of the presence of provincial governors - ex officio senators - they charged were unilaterally and illegally appointed by President Robert Mugabe.
Last week President Mugabe through Deputy Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda recalled the Senate to sit from Tuesday through Friday to consider finance and appropriation Bills, among other legislation before Parliament.
Tsvangirai MDC Chief Senate Whip Gladys Gombami-Dube told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that she and her colleagues will heed Tsvangirai’s order but will continue not to refuse to recognize the governors of Zimbabwe's 10 provinces. The Tsvangirai MDC says it was to have named five of the goverors under a power-sharing agreement.
Political analyst Charles Mutasa said Mr. Tsvangirai’s orders to his party’s senators may signal some relaxation of tensions in the unity government following the recent intervention by Southern African regional mediator and South African President Jacob Zuma.
In other political news, the MDC formation of Deputy Prime Minister Arthur Mutambara said it will not back any presidential candidate other than its own in the next elections, which are widely expected to be held in late 2011.
In the 2008 presidential election the party threw its weight behind Simba Makoni, a former finance minister who some considered to be a spoiler in that ballot which was won by Mr. Tsvangirai with a plurality in the first round but which ultimately went to President Mugabe in a runoff from which Mr. Tsvangirai withdrew in protest of the political violence which swept the country between the two rounds.
Mutambara MDC Secretary General Welshman Ncube, tipped to take over leadership of the party when it meets in congress next year, told reporters in Bulawayo on the weekend that his MDC wing regrets backing Makoni, who polled just 8 percent.
Party spokesman Edwin Mushoriwa tells VOA Studio 7 reporter Chris Gande that the party will not enter into any strategic alliances in the next elections.