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Oct-20-2008 20:21printcomments

Mugabe Denies Passport for Political Rival

Robert Mugabe uses political muscle to deny his rival's chance to attend important talks regarding Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe's Morgan Tsvangirai
Courtesy: thewe.cc

(JOHANNESBURG, South Africa) - The opposition leader of Zimbabwe, Morgan Tsvangirai, has missed important scheduled talks in Swaziland over the crisis in his country. But as it turns out, Tsvangirai only missed the talks because his political rival, Robert Megabe, refused to grant his passport.

The talks were rescheduled and will now take place next week. Mugabe's attempt to block Tsvangirai has not missed the attention of other nations like Botswana, which called Zimbabwe's failure to issue the passport "totally unacceptable and an indication of bad faith."

This leaves the government of the Republic of Botswana expressing concern over developments in Zimbabwe which have stalled the process of operationalizing a Government in that country.

African nations that sent election observers to Zimbabwe for the presidential runoff unanimously agreed that the election was not free or fair. Their response was to pressure Mugabe, who has been in power for almost three decades, to negotiate a pact with longtime rival Tsvangirai, to jointly govern the country.

On September 15th, 2008, an agreement between the ZANU-PF, MDC-Tsvangirai and MDC-Mutambara political parties in Zimbabwe was signed committing the political parties to, amongst others, put an end to the polarization, divisions, conflict and intolerance that has characterized Zimbabwean politics and society in recent times.

Representatives of the parties say they committed themselves to put Zimbabwe first and give its people a genuine chance of rebuilding and reconstructing their livelihoods. Several weeks have lapsed since the agreement was signed and the parties are reportedly deadlocked over how Cabinet posts should be divided among the three parties.

An official press release from Botwwana read, "This development is disturbing and in our view cannot be ignored. Further delay in forming a Government and implementing the agreement can only increase the plight of the people of Zimbabwe. Botswana, in this regard, calls on the parties to genuinely work towards seeking solutions to their differences and set Zimbabwe on a path of national reconciliation, economic reconstruction and recovery."

Botswana further calls on the urgent intervention of the mediator to assist the parties to break the deadlock.

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