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Zimbabwe defence chief refuses to meet PM: report
by Staff Writers
Harare (AFP) May 05, 2013

Zimbabwe's defence chief and President Robert Mugabe's ally has vowed not to meet with the country's prime minister amid a row over proposed changes in the security sector , state media reported on Sunday.

Morgan Tsvangirai, the leader of the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) who is in a shaky unity government with Mugabe, has been calling for an overhaul of the security sector, which is seen as partisan to Mugabe and his ZANU-PF party.

"We have no time to meet a sellout. Clearly Tsvangirai is a psychiatric patient who needs a competent psychiatrist," Constantine Chiwenga, the commander of Zimbabwe's defence forces told the state-owned Sunday Mail newspaper.

Chiwenga said meeting Tsvangirai would be "a mockery to the thousands of people who sacrificed their lives fighting for the country's independence."

Zimbabwe security chiefs, who are staunch Mugabe loyalists, have vowed that they will never support a leader -- such as Tsvangirai -- who did not take part in Zimbabwe's 1970s liberation war.

Chiwenga was reacting to reports by a local media that MDC officials had met with security chiefs to discuss their future in case of an MDC victory in the elections planned for this year.

Zimbabwe is later this year expected to hold elections to end an uneasy four-year-old unity government between Mugabe, who has ruled Zimbabwe since 1980, and former opposition leader Tsvangirai.

Tsvangirai has repeatedly called for several key reforms -- including on media, security and electoral law -- promised in the deal agreed after disputed 2008 polls.

Mugabe who once called Tsvangirai "a stooge of the West" has vowed not to implement the security sector reforms saying they were a ploy by his Western foes to weaken Zimbabwe's defence forces.


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