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ZANU-PF Says Zimbabwe Gov't Will Operate Without MDC

By VOA News
18 October 2009

Zimbabwe's ZANU-PF party says government business will continue despite the MDC party's decision to stop working with its unity government partner.

The state-run Sunday Mail newspaper quotes Information Minister George Charamba as saying a cabinet meeting will go ahead as scheduled on Tuesday and that binding decisions will be made.

On Friday, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai said the MDC was "disengaging" from ZANU-PF, though he stopped short of withdrawing from the government.

The prime minister called ZANU-PF a dishonest and unreliable partner and said the party has ignored last year's power-sharing deal.

Charamba was dismissive of the MDC's protest, saying President Robert Mugabe has been too busy with ceremonial duties to react.

Tensions between ZANU-PF and the MDC have been constant since the unity government was formed early this year.

Regional leaders pressured the parties to share power after last year's disputed and violence-plagued elections.

The latest crisis was sparked by the re-detention of Roy Bennett, a white farmer who the MDC has nominated to be deputy minister of agriculture.

Bennett is awaiting trial on terrorism charges, and already spent a month in prison earlier this year before being released on bail. The MDC says he is innocent.

Mr. Tsvangirai said Friday that if the political crisis escalates further, the only solution would be to hold new elections under international supervision.

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