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Zim’s MDC: No knowledge of transitional govt including Tsvangirai

There have been speculations of a deal being reached which includes a transitional government and Morgan Tsvangirai as prime minister.

Zimbabwe's Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leader Morgan Tsvangirai at a press conference on 16 November 2017 in Harare. Picture: AFP.

HARARE - Zimbabwean opposition party the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) has denied reports that its leader Morgan Tsvangirai has been offered the position of prime minister in a transitional government in the country.

The Zimbabwean army, in one stroke, froze President Robert Mugabe’s government detaining some ministers and Zanu-PF leaders.

Mugabe met with some of the army generals who were behind the military action that saw him being placed under house arrest for two days on Thursday.

There have been speculations of a deal being reached which includes a transitional government that has axed Zanu-PF and Zimbabwe vice president as the interim leader and Tsvangirai as prime minister.

There have been speculations that following a meeting between South African envoys, President Mugabe and the army, a deal was reached that puts MDC leader Tsvangirai in the interim government.

But MDC deputy president Nelson Chamisa says Tsvangirai has no knowledge of this.

“The so-called transitional authority and that president Tsvangirai will be part of it, it’s all speculation at this juncture. In fact, I can confirm to you that there hasn’t been any formal approach or formal engagement or indication.”

Speaking at a press conference on Thursday Tsvangirai said while change is desperately needed, he doesn't agree with the military's intervention.

“I think it would appear that he has lost all power. The military has said it’s not a coup. It's unconstitutional. Whatever you want to describe it as, it’s unconstitutional because you can’t force the change of government by any other means other than the ballot box.”

'SIGNIFICANT PROGRESS'

While speculation swirls around a transitional government in Zimbabwe, the military says it’s made "significant progress" in its operation targeting criminals around Mugabe.

It’s issued another statement on state television, saying it’s in talks with President Mugabe on a way forward for the country and that it will update the nation on the outcome soon.

And while behind the scenes meetings continue in confined spaces, Zimbabweans say they feel excluded.

They say they haven’t heard any updates following the meeting between South African envoys, President Mugabe and the army.

With an information void growing between Zimbabwean citizens, the state and the army, people say they are waiting anxiously for any official news.

At the same time, wishlists and hearsays about the transition into a so-called new Zimbabwe are on people’s lips.

When interviewed, residents were visibly excited and expressed optimism that the army has got a good handle on the situation.

Meanwhile, the army is still conducting stop and search operations along routes leading to Harare on alert for vehicles transporting weapons.

The soldiers say they are on a 24-hour guard with 12 hourly rotations.

At the same time, Martin Rupiya, a retired lieutenant colonel from the Zimbabwean army says the army takeover did not come as a surprise.

“But very carefully in this power struggle within the ruling party Zanu-PF is an attempt to create a succession in which the president is then forced or perhaps requested to step down. And what we now have is that the president has refused to go, created a number of conditions but also cited that in terms of the legal Constitution he is the authority that remains.”

A Southern African Development Community meeting in Botswana has recommended that regional leaders meet urgently to try and resolve the stalemate in Harare.