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Zimbabwe PM Tsvangirai's MDC Senators Threaten Disruption of Upper House

  • Jonga Kandemiiri

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai gives a press conference in Harare to announce the reshuffling of ministers belonging to The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, 23 Jun 2010

Zimbabwe's Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai gives a press conference in Harare to announce the reshuffling of ministers belonging to The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) party, 23 Jun 2010

Mr. Tsvangirai set the tone last week when he announced at a news conference that his party will not recognize the governors or the ambassadors and judges named by Mr. Mugabe without consultation with his unity government partners

A showdown was looming in the Zimbabwean on Tuesday with legislators of the Movement for Democratic Change formation headed by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai threatening to disrupt the session if provincial governors unilaterally appointed by President Robert Mugabe - who serve ex officio - take their seats.

Mr. Tsvangirai set the tone last week when he announced at a news conference that his party will not recognize the governors or the ambassadors and judges named by Mr. Mugabe without consultation with his partners in the government of national unity put in place in 2009 based on the 2008 Global Political Agreement.

Mr. Mugabe, who has not officially responded to the particularly bitter broadside launched by his prime minister, departed Saturday for an African-Asian Summit in Libya.

MDC Senator Obert Gutu told VOA Studio 7 reporter Blessing Zulu that his party's lawmakers will force Senate President Edna Madzongwe to adjourn the session in the event the governors attend.

“We will make the house ungovernable should the senate president refuse to kick out these strangers. Their re-appointments are unconstitutional.” Gutu said.

Elsewhere, Mr. Tsvangirai, who had been scheduled to address supporters in Mutare amid calls by some members for him to quit the unity government, canceled that meeting following the death of a party member of injuries sustained in a highway accident last month that has claimed the lives of five activists of his party.

The victims were returning from an MDC anniversary celebration in Midlands province.

Tsvangirai MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa told reporter Blessing Zulu consultations will be pushed off to next week to let the party mourn. Chamisa said the party will continue confronting Mr. Mugabe over his appointments.

The prime minister on Sunday urged churches to take the lead in promoting national healing and reconciliation, calling for tolerance among Zimbabweans, regardless of their political affiliation. Speaking at a gathering of Methodists in Harare, Mr. Tsvangirai said it is the role of churches to unite the people toward national goals.

Tsvangirai spokesman Luke Tamborinyika told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that the prime minister was simply reiterating what he has always been saying about the need for national reconciliation.

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