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Archive for Saturday, October 17, 2009

P.M. boycotts unity government

October 17, 2009

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— Citing the “persecution” of a top aide, Zimbabwe’s prime minister abandoned — at least temporarily — shared rule with President Robert Mugabe, marking a setback to the country’s struggle to emerge from political gridlock, economic collapse and international isolation and sanctions.

Morgan Tsvangirai told reporters Friday his party members would not attend Cabinet meetings or engage in other executive work with Mugabe’s party. His erstwhile governing partners said good riddance, even though both sides need the coalition.

“Until confidence has been restored we can’t continue to pretend that everything is well,” Tsvangirai said, referring to a trial scheduled to begin Monday against Roy Bennett, the prime minister’s nominee for deputy agriculture minister who is charged with weapons violations.

“We are not really pulling out officially,” Tsvangirai said, assuring a press conference that his move did not spell the collapse of the government.

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