|Negotiators demand lifting of sanctions|
|Thursday, 17 May 2012 00:00|
the unconditional removal of the EU sanctions regime. The convergence has, however, torched a storm in the MDC-T with some Western donors and Diaspora stalwarts disowning the pact.
The sanctions remain the major outstanding GPA issue. The MDC-T’s deputy secretary for economic affairs, Mr Elton Mangoma, who led the re-engagement team, is under fire from party hardliners who are accusing him of selling out. Other members of the delegation to the EU included Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga (MDC secretary-general) and Patrick Chinamasa (Zanu-PF legal affairs secretary). Sources within MDC-T say the convergence on sanctions had not gone down well with some members of the party culminating in an emergency meeting that was convened on Monday night to discuss the different views. However, in the absence of
MDC-T leader Mr Morgan Tsvangirai, who was on a “honeymoon” with his fiancée Elizabeth Macheka in the United States, no statement was issued.
The source added: “Bennett’s recent backlash on Tsvangirai that he is concentrating on his marriage and not party issues was a direct consequence of the problems caused by the position.”
According to the agreement, parties to the inclusive Government contended that sanctions were crowding out deliberations on other important issues and delaying the full implementation of the GPA. The political parties also agreed that sanctions were polarising the inclusive Government.
“Discussion on the Country Strategy Paper normalisation of the Zimbabwe-EU relations is a futile exercise as there is framework for taking forward.
Contacted for comment yesterday, MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora acknowledged the communiqué but denied divisions, saying the party was behind Mr Mangoma.
Zimbabwe. As a party, we believe there should be certain trade-offs by the two parties for the benefit of Zimbabwe.
The MDC-T’s Western backers were reported to be fed up with Tsvangirai’s leadership and trying to push him out and replace him with an “intellectual”.