Tuesday, October 21, 2008



October 21, 2008
Story by: Xinhua and Agencies

Zimbabwean opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will not attend a regional summit on Zimbabwe’s political crisis, a party spokesman said, throwing the mediation process into disarray. “He is not going. He was denied a passport,” Movement for Democratic Change spokesman Nelson Chamisa told a news agency.

The meeting of the heads of state of Angola, Swaziland and Mozambique who form the security committee of the Southern African Development Community is aimed at trying to help Zimbabwe’s political rivals break a deadlock in negotiations on forming a cabinet.

Four days of talks mediated by former South African president Thabo Mbeki last week failed to end the impasse over the allocation of ministries in a new unity government. The MDC’s Chamisa said Tsvangirai was given an emergency travel document on Sunday valid only for Swaziland and not for South Africa which he needs to pass through. “There is no way you can expect him to be in Swaziland when they are making it difficult for him,” Chamisa said.

Zimbabwean Information Minister Sikhanyiso Ndlovu dismissed the MDC claim as “a gimmick.”“That’s not true. He has been given a travel document. South Africa is mediating, how can they deny him passage? ”There were signs of failure before the summit opened. The MDC said yesterday events in the past 24 hours had made it extremely difficult to believe in the mediation process to end the deadlock on forming a cabinet.

“There have been developments in the past 24 hours that make it incredibly difficult for the MDC to have confidence in the current mediation process. Their faith and hope in the current mediation process and its ability to deliver a solution to the people of Zimbabwe is now called into question,” the MDC said in a statement. Tsvangirai said on Sunday that he believed the parties would finalize a power-sharing deal at the meeting.