President Mugabe and his party Zanu PF have taken umbrage over
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai’s invitation by the US President Barack
Obama to the Democratic Convention in the United States accusing the MDC
leader of ignoring of what they say is a crucial principals meeting at home
to discuss issues of national interest.

Democrats launch their case for Barack Obama’s re-election at their party
convention on Tuesday, looking to draw a sharp contrast with Republican Mitt
Romney and convince voters that the U.S. president deserves four more years to fix the economy.

A source in the Prime Minister’s office last night said there was no
scheduled meeting between the Prime Minister and his coalition counterparts.
MDC-T spokesperson Mr Douglas Mwonzora confirmed his boss was in North
Carolina, at the invitation of the Democratic Party that he said shared the
‘‘same interests and principles’’ with MDC-T.

“He is there with the full mandate of the party as he is on a drive to
strengthen our international relationship with other countries.

“The Constitution-making process was completed and we now have a draft

“It is President Mugabe and his Zanu-PF party who are trying to rewrite the
Global Political Agreement and refusing that document to go the Second All
Stakeholders’ Conference.”

Mr Mwonzora said there was no need for Principals to meet to discuss the
Copac draft.

“The GPA is clear on what should be done. Before he (Mr Tsvangirai) left, he
wrote to President Mugabe about the party’s position on the Zanu-PF draft

“President Mugabe must by now be making considerations on the submissions made by president Tsvangirai,” he said.

However, Presidential spokesperson Mr George Charamba said it was clear the MDC-T leader favoured foreign interests ahead of national issues.

“It is clear where the priority of the MDC-T president lies. He values his
spectator status in front of the mini drama of the Democratic Party than he
does issues to do with the future of his country

“His interest is always outward, it is never inward. There is also a
compelling reason for him to do so. He is going to assure the Americans
after the Freedom House survey, which projected him as a bad political
investment for the Americans,” he said.

Mr Charamba said it was baseless for MDC-T spokesperson Mr Mwonzora to
compare President Mugabe’s participation at the recent Non Aligned Movement Summit in Iran where 120 world leaders attended to Mr Tsvangirai’s attendance at a function of an American political party.

The source also said Zanu PF is trying very to isolate and corner Tsvangirai
in “dark corridors” and force him into agreeing Zanu PF amendments to the
Draft Constitution, a move this source said was bound to fail.

Over the years Zanu PF has always attended party functions of its foreign

In February this years Zanu-PF attended the 50th anniversary of the ruling
Botswana Democratic Party held in Gaborone with a strong delegation led by
Zanu-PF national chairman Simon Khaya Moyo and both parties Zanu-PF and
Morgan Tsvangirai’s MDC sent delegations to the ANC’s centenary this year.

Last week all ZANU-PF provincial chairpersons left the country for China for
a two-week “leadership training course”.

However, Political analyst in the State media, Dr Charity Manyeruke a Zanu
PF Commissariat described Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s decision as an insult
to the people of Zimbabwe.

Zanu PF chief political advisor and Politburo member Professor Jonathan Moyo had no kind words for Mr Tsvangirai whom he described as a disgrace to the people whom he pretends to lead.

The party’s loyalists said it is high time Zimbabweans should be wary of the
Prime Minister’s behaviour as it has also emerged that he ignored the
principals meeting to go on a spending spree with his wife in the US to buy
goodies for his wedding set for next week.

Mr Tsvangirai was supposed to attend a routine principals meeting this
Monday to discuss a deadlock over the draft constitution among other
national issues.

That meeting was postponed because the premier was away.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his party have already launched
campaign for a yes vote and he has accused President Robert Mugabe as
arrogant and accused him of misleading his Sadc counterparts into believing
that he was committed to the constitution-making process when in fact he was

Addressing civic society leaders at his offices at Charter House in Harare,
Tsvangirai said the MDC-T was ready to launch a campaign for the adoption of the Copac draft constitution

He said despite Mugabe’s complaints to Sadc in Luanda, Angola, in June that
he was not happy with what he called the negotiators’ delaying tactics on
the constitution, it was him who had assumed that role to justify Zanu PF’s
push for an election under the old constitution.

“In Luanda, President Mugabe said the negotiators were dilly-dallying and we
should go for an election,” he said.

“Now that we have concluded, he is assuming the delaying tactics he was
accusing people of using, now that’s arrogance.”

Tsvangirai said his party would have softened its stance on the constitution
deadlock, but Zanu PF was making outrageous demands that were tantamount to “throwing the baby with the bath water”.

“The Sadc involvement is not on all processes, but on difficult issues. Zanu
PF wants to throw the baby with the bath water,” he said.

“Had they come with one or two issues, we would have opened up.

“As principals, I find it difficult to start discussing when Zanu PF is
bringing in things yet we were all part of the process.

“If Sadc says talk about one or two issues yes, but to reopen the whole
debate now is like opening a floodgate, you will never know when to stop.

“We will start our constitution campaign and we will campaign for a ‘Yes’
vote and we are not ashamed.”

He said the theme for the campaign would be: My Vote is My Voice and My Vote is Yes.

Tsvangirai said the exit from the coalition government was a free and fair
election, but vowed that he would not be rushed into an election that would
not be free and fair by Zanu PF.

“Zanu PF is dragging its feet, but we have a clear roadmap that we can’t
abandon now,” he said.

“In Kenya, evidence is there, the clouds of a storm are on the horizon
already and these experiences spell doom.

“We hope there will be no clouds of storm in Zimbabwe.”

He said people, including civic society and his party, were now in the
comfort zone forgetting to continue the fight for democratic change.

“There is a mercenary attitude now of people wanting to be paid for being in
the streets instead of a missionary attitude,” Tsvangirai said.

“People like (Macdonald) Lewanika (Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition director)
now wear suits every day and even (Information Communication Technology
minister Nelson) Chamisa wears suits every day.

“The fighting spirit has gone and this is what should be addressed.”
Addressing hundreds of party members at Zimuto Siding business centre,
Masvingo North the MDC provincial chairperson Wilstaff Sitemere called for
unity of purpose and determination ahead of both the referendum and the
watershed polls, which he predicted that the MDC will emerge the victor.
Sitemere said the MDC would go for the “Yes” vote in the referendum despite
desperate efforts by Zanu PF to stall the whole process. “I wish to urge you
to focus on the referendum and our position as a party is very clear because
we are going to vote Yes,” said Chairperson Sitemere

“We say so because the Copac led Constitution making process was endorsed by all the GPA principals and therefore we will not tolerate political games and backsliding,” he said.

He added: “As the MDC, we support devolution because it decentralises
management and control of national resources thereby creating employment for all. There is need to decentralise matters of governance to the provinces
since it creates room for development at provincial level.

The chairperson said Masvingo province is blessed with minerals, wildlife
conservancies and vast sugar cane estates in the Lowveld –that is why the
MDC supports devolution. “In addition we support dual citizenship and we are
optimistic the new Constitution will address human rights issues.

“We are unhappy with the level of police brutality in the country and we
hope such matters will be addressed in the new Constitution. However, I urge
you to remain focused on the referendum.

“While we have seen a lot of improvement in terms of our living conditions
we should not be complacent because we have not yet achieved our chief goal of achieving real change,” he said.

Addressing a separate rally at Chinyika business centre in Gutu North on
Saturday, the MDC provincial vice chairperson Hon. Heya Shoko said the GPA was set up as a platform to pave way for fresh democratic elections and
should not be seen as the final destiny.

“We agree that the GPA has brought some respite for us since we were hard
pressed by social and economic meltdown before the formation of the
inclusive government. We should avoid the lame duck approach to political
affairs. We are not yet in full control of government issues. We need to
keep on pushing for total social and economic reforms.

“I have observed that people are now sitting back thinking the battle is
over. It’s not. We must know that it is never over until it is over. Let us
therefore avoid complacency ahead of the referendum and elections,” said
Hon. Shoko.

He added: “This is not the time for back biting and infighting because
internecine battles will demoralize us. We will definitely go for the
referendum and we will vote Yes”.

MDC provincial chairperson, Mai Judith Muzhavazhi echoed Hon. Shoko’s
statements adding: “I wish to urge women to stand up and participate in
these crucial processes”.

In attendance at the rally were the MDC provincial organising secretary,
Hon. Earnest Mudavanhu and Gutu Senator Empire Makamure.