The ZANU-PF party of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said it will not recognize a Zimbabwe Panel of Elders launched last week by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, charging that it is inspired by the West and intended to destabilize the country.
ZANU-PF Secretary for Information and Publicity Rugare Gumbo issued a statement saying the panel was formed to promote regime change and urged Zimbabweans to distance themselves from “such machinations by the enemy.”
Gumbo accused Mr. Tsvangirai of trying to confuse Zimbabweans in a bid to further his party’s agenda of entrenching Western interests in Southern Africa.
Mr. Tsvangirai launched the elders panel last week saying its purpose was discourage political violence and support the efforts of the national organ on reconciliation.
Its members include former University of Zimbabwe Professor Gordon Chavhunduka, former Education Minister Fay Chung and Retired Colonel Mawire Mutasa.
Gumbo told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri that ZANU-PF was not consulted about the panel and believes the United States is sponsoring groups to raise the MDC’s profile at the special Southern African Development Community summit June 10 in South Africa.
Elders Panel Interim Leader Gordon Chavhunduka dismissed the ZANU-PF charges and asserted that the panel has no political affiliations.